Can I get a copy of a key that says Do Not Duplicate? This is one of the most common questions that homeowners ask. Especially those who have a large family and want to make sure that each adult in the house have one. They will consider duplicating a single key.

Most people who want to know if a key can be copied or not are mostly just asking if it’s legal to copy a key that that says “Do Not Duplicate.”

Well, there are instances when it is legal, and sometimes it is not. You may or may not get into trouble for copying a key that says “Do Not Duplicate.” Sometimes it depends on how easy it is to duplicate a key and how comfortable is the locksmith that wants to help you duplicate the key.

There are major brands that take the whole “Do Not Duplicate” policy very serious. For such brands, it makes it hard to duplicate their keys, and it can be hard to get away with it. Also, your locksmith has to be comfortable with a key duplicate request. If your locksmith isn’t comfortable with duplicating a key that says “Do Not Duplicate”, well then you know you shouldn’t go ahead with it.

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There are certain situations where a homeowner will be forced to duplicate a car key. And in such cases, some keys are legal to duplicate, and some are illegal. Below are the types of keys that can be duplicated, and the types that cannot be duplicated.

1- Restricted Keys

Restricted keys are the type of keys that you should seek permission before duplicating. Such keys usually come with patents and few other qualities which only legal and approved manufacturers can produce. That is one of the plenty of benefits of having a high-security key. They are not easy to duplicate.

And it’s not just that. Original key manufacturers are most likely going to have a specialized tool or equipment that will be required to cut such types of keys. And only the original makers of the key will have such tools with them. If you live alone and want a better security in your life, then getting such high-security keys is best.

As it will not be easy for you to duplicate, conversely it won’t be easy for the mere thief or burglar to copy as well.

2- Unrestricted Keys

Unrestricted keys do not require any special permission to duplicate. They are just like any regular keys, and can be easily duplicated. If you want to duplicate such keys, the only thing that might stand in your way is the locksmith’s charge and sometimes their key duplicating policy.

Keys being copied - Can I Get A Copy Of A Key That Says Do Not Duplicate

But other than that, unrestricted keys can be copied with no strings attached. Anyone can copy them at any time.

Now that you know the two types of keys that can be duplicated and the one that cannot be duplicated, you might still want to duplicate your restricted key with high security.

Copying a restricted key that says Do Not Duplicate

So, if you find yourself in a condition where it becomes a must for you to duplicate a “Do Not Duplicate” key that has restrictions, obviously you can’t do it yourself. You will need a locksmith for the job. Your locksmith is expected to seek permission, and probably provide the necessary documents that permit you to duplicate such a key.

In rare cases, some locksmiths go as far as contacting the original makers of the key to get specific instructions on how to go about duplicating it. Which can make the duplicating process a bit complicated and time-consuming.

Some for the necessary information you can expect to provide to your locksmith before the duplicating process can commence is as follows:

1- The specific key that you are being allowed to duplicate.
2- The number of keys that you are authorized to duplicate.
3- The contact information of the one who permitted you to duplicate the key.

Some locksmiths might request for more than the above mentioned. Which only makes duplicating such high-security keys seem like a long process. Because if done legally, it can be. As for unrestricted keys, pretty much any locksmith will duplicate an unrestricted key because there aren’t any permissions required.

Read also: Can You Tell If A Key Has Been Copied

They don’t need to contact the original makers of the key or go through any process. However, some company locksmiths may still ask you to show some documentation before they duplicate a key.


There are situations whereby some local locksmiths do not give in to the whole “getting permission first” in other to duplicate a key, even restricted keys. But in the UK, such locksmiths are hard to find. And some may charge you extra if they’re going to copy a key that says “Do Not Duplicate.”