Is Lock Picking Legal in Georgia?

Have you ever wondered about locks and keys? In the big state of Georgia, some people are curious if it’s okay to pick locks.

The big question on everyone’s minds is, “Is lock picking legal in Georgia?” But wait, is it allowed?

Is Lock Picking Legal in Georgia? infographics by Emma Marshal


Let’s put on our detective hats and explore the mystery of lock picking in Georgia. Ready for an adventure? Let’s go!

Is Lock Picking Legal in Georgia?

is lock picking illegal in Georgia? title with map of Georgia and a lock on the right side

Yes, lock picking is generally legal in Georgia according to Lock Pick Laws by State 2023.

However, it’s crucial to note the Legal – must show intent criteria. If you’re picking a lock without permission or with the intent to commit a crime, that’s where it becomes illegal.

So, for everyday situations like forgetting your keys, it’s okay to pick a lock to access your own property. Just be sure to use your newfound skill responsibly and always stay on the right side of the law.

Lock Picking Laws in Georgia

Georgia Map

Lock picking laws in Georgia revolve around the question, “Is lock picking legal in Georgia?” Lock picking laws in Georgia are governed by specific statutes designed to regulate the possession and use of lock-picking tools.

Relevant Statutes and Regulations

Below is the information about relevant statutes and regulations regarding lock picking laws in Georgia.

Statute/Regulation Description
Georgia Code, Title 16, Section 16-7-52 Addresses Burglary; unlawful entry with intent to commit a crime, including lock picking.
Georgia Code, Title 16, Section 16-11-38 Covers the carrying of tools for the commission of crime; possessing lock-picking tools with unlawful intent may be prohibited.
Georgia Code, Title 16, Section 16-7-20 Defines criminal trespass; unauthorized entry onto another’s property, including cases involving lock picking.
Georgia Code, Title 16, Section 16-8-72 Discusses theft by taking; unauthorized possession of property, including instances related to lock picking.

Conditions under Which Lock Picking is Considered Legal or Illegal in Georgia

In Georgia, the legality of lock picking depends on the specific circumstances and intentions. Here are the conditions under which lock picking is considered legal or illegal:


  1. Own Property Access: It is generally legal to pick a lock when you own the property and are trying to regain access, such as in cases of a forgotten key.


  1. Criminal Intent: Lock picking becomes illegal if done with the intent to commit a crime, such as burglary or theft.
  2. Unauthorized Entry: Picking a lock to gain entry to someone else’s property without permission is considered illegal.
  3. Possession of Burglary Tools: Carrying lock-picking tools with the intent to use them for unlawful activities is against the law.

Always ensure that lock picking is done responsibly and within the boundaries of the law in Georgia.

There is a comprehensive article on Is lock picking illegal in the US for detailed information on all states in this regard

Following table summarizes the key points from Georgia Code, specifically § 16-7-20(a), in Lockpick Laws In the United States.

Georgia Code § 16-7-20(a)
Offense Definition A person commits the offense of possession of tools for the commission of a crime when found with tools, explosives, or devices commonly associated with burglary, theft, or other criminal activities.
Key Element The crucial element for this offense is the intent to use these tools in the commission of a crime.
Legislative Aim The statute aims to address and discourage individuals from having tools that could potentially be utilized for illegal purposes.
Determining Criminal Liability Emphasizes the importance of intent in determining criminal liability.

Exceptions and Limitations

In Georgia, lock picking is legally permitted for licensed locksmiths, law enforcement personnel, and individuals with explicit property owner consent.

Licensing Requirements of Locksmiths in Georgia

To pursue a career as a locksmith in Georgia, there are generally no strict prerequisites; however, certain eligibility criteria and skills are essential according to Locksmithing School: How to Become a Locksmith in Georgia?

Age Requirement: Applicants must be 18 years or older, indicating adulthood and sound decision-making abilities, which is a standard requirement.

Education: Unlike some professions, becoming a locksmith in Georgia doesn’t mandate a specific degree or training certification.

Criminal History: A clean moral and ethical background is generally expected, although having a criminal record doesn’t automatically disqualify you from working as a locksmith.

Key Skills: Successful locksmiths typically possess mechanical and mathematical aptitude, knowledge of lock components, and the ability to use locksmith tools for tasks like opening and repairing locks, as well as crafting new keys.

License and Certification: While there isn’t a statewide certification requirement, obtaining a state-issued business license or one from your City Hall is generally necessary. Professional certifications are often recommended to enhance skills and credibility.

Average Salary: Locksmiths in Georgia can anticipate an annual income in the range of $50,000 to $60,000, aligning with the approximate national average as of August 2022 (Source:

Embarking on a locksmithing career in Georgia primarily involves meeting these eligibility criteria and honing the necessary skills.

Penalties for Illegal Lock Picking

In Georgia, engaging in illegal lock picking can lead to various penalties under the state’s laws. It’s important to note that penalties may vary based on the specific circumstances and severity of the offense. Here is a general overview:

Criminal Charges: Illegal lock picking may result in criminal charges, such as burglary or criminal trespass, depending on the intent and context of the act.

Fines: Offenders may face fines as a penalty for engaging in unauthorized lock picking. The amount of the fine can vary based on the severity of the offense.

Imprisonment: Serious cases of illegal lock picking may lead to imprisonment. The duration of imprisonment will depend on factors like criminal history and the nature of the offense.

Civil Liability: Offenders might also be subject to civil liability, where the property owner may pursue legal action to seek compensation for damages caused by the illegal lock picking.

Loss of Professional Opportunities: For individuals in the locksmith profession, engaging in illegal lock picking can lead to the loss of business licenses and certifications, affecting professional credibility and future opportunities.

Do you want to know about similar aspects related to lock picking in other states as well? Other states like California, Arizona, Alaska, Alabama, Ohio, New York, Washington, Florida, Virginia, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware  etc. have also similar regulations.


In conclusion, young detectives, we’ve unraveled the mystery of whether lock picking is legal in Georgia. So, is lock picking legal in Georgia? The answer is, it depends!

If you’re using your skills responsibly, like unlocking your own door when you forget your keys, it’s usually okay.

However, if you’re up to no good, trying to open someone else’s door without permission, that’s a big no-no!

Remember, being a responsible detective means using your powers for good and respecting other people’s property. Keep those detective hats on, and stay on the right side of the law!


  1. What are the legal consequences of illegal lock picking in Georgia?

Engaging in illegal lock picking can lead to criminal charges, fines, imprisonment, and potential civil liability for damages caused.

  1. Are there specific age requirements to become a locksmith in Georgia?

Yes, aspiring locksmiths in Georgia typically need to be 18 years or older, demonstrating adulthood and sound decision-making capabilities.

  1. Is formal education or training necessary to become a locksmith in Georgia?

No, there is no specific degree or training certification required to become a locksmith in Georgia. However, possessing key skills such as mechanical aptitude is crucial for success in the field.


  1. Locksmithing School: How to Become a Locksmith in Georgia?
  2. Lockpick Laws In the United States
  3. Lock Pick Laws by State 2023



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