Is Lock Picking Legal in New Hampshire?

Embarking on a journey to master the art of lock picking in New Hampshire?

As you sharpen your skills and explore the intricacies of locksmithing, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the legalities surrounding this craft in the Granite State.

For beginners eagerly asking, “Is lock picking legal in New Hampshire?” – This article is your go-to resource.

Is Lock Picking Legal in New Hampshire? infographics by Emma Marshal

Join us as we unravel the legal framework governing lock picking in New Hampshire, equipping you with the knowledge needed to pursue your locksmithing aspirations responsibly and lawfully.

Is Lock Picking Legal in New Hampshire?

Is Lock Picking Legal in New Hampshire? title with map of New Hampshire and a lock on the right side

Yes, lock picking is legal in New Hampshire. It is important to emphasize that engaging in lock picking activities must be done with legal intent, such as locksmithing, security assessments, or other lawful purposes.

Adhering to legal guidelines while honing lock picking skills is imperative to avoid any potential legal repercussions in the state. Always ensure you’re practicing within the confines of the law. Is Lock Picking Legal in New Hampshire? Yes, according to Lockpick Laws in the United States. So, stay informed and practice responsibly.

Lock Picking Laws in New Hampshire

New Hampshire map-

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

Relevant Statutes and Regulations

Here is the information about relevant statutes and regulations regarding lock picking laws in New Hampshire presented in a table format:

Statute Description
RSA 635:1 Defines burglary and criminal trespass, outlining penalties for unlawful entry.
RSA 637:4 Prohibits possession of burglar’s tools, including lock picks, with intent to commit a crime.
RSA 311-A:16 Outlines licensing requirements for locksmiths, ensuring proper training and vetting.

Is lock picking legal in New Hampshire should become more clear from conditions of legality and illegality.

Conditions under Which Lock Picking is Considered Legal or Illegal in New Hampshire

Conditions Legal Status
Possession for locksmithing purposes Legal
Personal property access with owner’s consent Legal
Educational purposes or skill development Legal
Intent for unauthorized entry or criminal activity Illegal
Possession with intent to use unlawfully Illegal
Use in the commission of burglary Illegal
Use for unauthorized electronic access Illegal
Use for fraudulent activities Illegal

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 New Hampshire Code – § 635:1V. in Lockpick Laws In the United States.

Statute Description
NH Code § 635:1V Prohibits possession of tools adapted for breaking into buildings with the intent to use them for theft or other criminal purposes.

Exceptions and Limitations

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

Licensing Requirements of Locksmiths in New Hampshire

Embarking on the journey to become a locksmith in New Hampshire doesn’t follow a strict set of rules, but certain keys open doors according to Locksmithing School: How to Become a Locksmith in New Hampshire?

In New Hampshire, the process of becoming a locksmith is relatively straightforward, with no specific requirements beyond those necessary for starting a business in the state.

Applicants must be at least 18 years old, possessing sound mental faculties, as is standard for any profession. Unlike some occupations, locksmithing does not demand any formal educational qualifications or training certifications.

However, a foundational understanding of mechanical principles, basic mathematics, and familiarity with lock components is essential. Prospective locksmiths should demonstrate proficiency in using locksmith tools to manipulate and repair locks, as well as crafting new keys.

A clean criminal history is typically expected, though a prior record does not necessarily disqualify individuals from pursuing locksmithing as a profession.

The emphasis is often placed on possessing a strong moral and ethical character. Additionally, obtaining a state-issued business license or a municipal business license from the appropriate authorities is a standard requirement.

While not mandatory, obtaining professional certifications is recommended to enhance credibility and expertise in the field.

Locksmiths in New Hampshire can anticipate a competitive salary, with average earnings ranging between $50,000 to $60,000 per year (2022).

This figure reflects the approximate national average and may vary depending on factors such as experience, specialization, and geographic location within the state.

Overall, aspiring locksmiths in New Hampshire can embark on a rewarding career path characterized by technical skill, problem-solving abilities, and the satisfaction of assisting individuals in securing their properties.

Penalties for Illegal Lock Picking

In New Hampshire, illegal lock picking is treated as a serious offense. Possessing tools adapted for breaking into buildings with the intent to use them for theft or other criminal purposes is prohibited under NH Code § 635:1V.

Individuals convicted of illegal lock picking in New Hampshire may face misdemeanor charges, which can result in fines, probation, and potentially imprisonment for a period determined by the court.

The specific penalties imposed will depend on the circumstances of the offense and the discretion of the judicial system. Repeat offenders or those involved in more serious criminal activities alongside lock picking may face enhanced penalties under New Hampshire law.

It is essential for individuals in both New Jersey and New Hampshire to understand the legal consequences of engaging in illegal lock picking and to refrain from such activities to avoid facing criminal charges and associated penalties.

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 , Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri , Montana etc. have also similar regulations.


The legality of lock picking in New Hampshire hinges on various factors. While the state permits possession of lock picking tools for legitimate purposes, such as locksmithing, engaging in unauthorized lock picking is prohibited.

The question “Is Lock Picking Legal in New Hampshire?” underscores the need for individuals to understand and abide by state laws governing this practice.

Whether pursuing lock picking as a student or locksport enthusiast, it is imperative to conduct oneself responsibly and ethically, respecting both legal boundaries and the integrity of the locksmithing community.


Is it legal to possess lock picking tools in New Hampshire?

Possession of lock picking tools for legitimate purposes, such as locksmithing, is generally legal in New Hampshire. However, using these tools without proper authorization or with criminal intent is prohibited.

What are the potential consequences of illegal lock picking in New Hampshire?

Engaging in illegal lock picking in New Hampshire may result in misdemeanor charges, fines, and potential legal repercussions. Individuals found using lock picking tools for unlawful purposes may face criminal prosecution.

Are there any exceptions to the legality of lock picking in New Hampshire?

Licensed locksmiths and individuals authorized to possess lock picking tools for professional or educational purposes are exceptions to the general prohibition. However, unauthorized use of lock picking tools remains illegal and subject to legal consequences.


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



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