Sec. 20-691. Locksmiths. Definitions. Registration. Exemptions. Prohibitions. Regulations. Investigations and hearings. Revocation and suspension of registration. Civil penalty. Unfair or deceptive trade practice.
Sec. 20-691. Locksmiths. Definitions. Registration. Exemptions. Prohibitions. Regulations. Investigations and hearings. Revocation and suspension of registration. Civil penalty. Unfair or deceptive trade practice. (a) As used in this section:
(1) “Branch” means any business location of a locksmith, other than the principal place of business of such locksmith.
(2) “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Consumer Protection.
(3) “Department” means the Department of Consumer Protection.
(4) “Locksmith” means a person engaged in locksmithing.
(5) “Locksmithing” means the inspection, installation, recombination, rekeying, service or repair of locks or locking devices, but does not include: (A) The recombination or rekeying of locks or cylinders by an employee of a retail or wholesale establishment on an employer's property; (B) the installation or repair of locks by a person registered pursuant to chapter 393c or registered pursuant to chapter 400 incidental to the construction of a building; (C) the installation, maintenance, repair or service of a vending machine; (D) the duplication or selling of keys or selling of equipment used to duplicate keys at a retail establishment; or (E) work performed by a person at such person's own residence.
(6) “Registration” means a document or card issued by the Department of Consumer Protection to a locksmith which certifies that such locksmith has completed an application form, paid the required registration fee, has successfully passed the required criminal history records check, is not otherwise barred from becoming a locksmith and has been added to the registry of locksmiths, as established in subsection (b) of this section.
(b) (1) A person seeking registration as a locksmith shall apply to the commissioner on a form provided by the commissioner. The application shall include the applicant's name, residence address, business address, business telephone number, a question as to whether the applicant has been convicted of a felony in any state or jurisdiction, and such other information as the commissioner may require. The applicant shall submit to a request by the commissioner for a state and national criminal history records check conducted in accordance with the provisions of section 29-17a. No registration shall be issued unless the commissioner has received the results of such records check. In accordance with the provisions of section 46a-80 and after a hearing held pursuant to chapter 54, the commissioner may revoke, refuse to issue or refuse to renew a registration when an applicant's criminal history records check reveals the applicant has been convicted of a crime of dishonesty, fraud, theft, assault, other violent offense or a crime related to the performance of locksmithing.
(2) The application fee for registration as a locksmith and the biennial renewal fee for such registration shall be two hundred dollars.
(3) The department shall establish and maintain a registry of locksmiths. The registry shall contain the names and addresses of registered locksmiths and such other information as the commissioner may require. Such registry shall be updated at least annually by the department, be made available to the public upon request and be published on the department's Internet web site.
(4) No person shall engage in locksmithing, use the title locksmith or display or use any words, letters, figures, title, advertisement or other method to indicate said person is a locksmith unless such person has obtained a registration as provided in this section.
(5) The following persons shall be exempt from registration as a locksmith, but only if the person performing the service does not hold himself or herself out to the public as a locksmith: (A) Persons employed by a state, municipality or other political subdivision, or by any agency or department of the government of the United States, acting in their official capacity; (B) automobile service dealers who service, install, repair or rebuild automobile locks; (C) retail merchants selling locks or similar security accessories or installing, programming, repairing, maintaining, reprogramming, rebuilding or servicing electronic garage door devices; (D) members of the building trades who install or remove complete locks or locking devices in the course of residential or commercial new construction or remodeling; (E) employees of towing services or repossessors, or employees or representatives of automobile clubs, who open automotive locks in the normal course of their business. The provisions of this section shall not prohibit an employee of a towing service from opening motor vehicles to enable a vehicle to be moved without towing, provided the towing service does not hold itself out to the public, by directory advertisement, through a sign at the facilities of the towing service or by any other form of advertisement, as a locksmith; (F) students in a course of study in locksmith programs approved by the department; (G) warranty services by a lock manufacturer or its employees on the manufacturer's own products; (H) maintenance employees of a property owner or property management companies at multifamily residential buildings, who service, install, repair or open locks for tenants; (I) persons employed as security personnel at schools or institutions of higher education who open locks while acting in the course of their employment; and (J) persons who service, install or repair electronic locks, access control devices or other similar locking devices that connect to an electronic security system, provided such persons maintain an electrical contractor or journeyperson licensed to perform such work as required pursuant to chapter 393.
(c) (1) Each person engaging in locksmithing shall: (A) Exhibit such person's registration or a copy thereof at the person's place of business and any branch, in a location visible to the general public, (B) exhibit such person's registration upon request by any interested party, and (C) include such person's registration number in any advertisement.
(2) No person shall: (A) Present or attempt to present, as such person's own, the registration of another, (B) knowingly give false evidence of a material nature to the commissioner for the purpose of procuring a registration, (C) represent himself or herself falsely as, or impersonate, a registered locksmith, (D) knowingly use or attempt to use a registration which has expired or which has been suspended or revoked, (E) offer to undertake any locksmith service without having a current registration required under this chapter, (F) represent in any manner that such person's registration constitutes an endorsement of the quality of such person's workmanship or of such person's competency by the commissioner, (G) employ or allow any person to act as a salesman on such person's behalf unless such salesman is in the direct employ of such person, or (H) represent or advertise a location or branch as a place of business without obtaining the right to occupy such location.
(d) Registrations issued to locksmiths pursuant to this section shall not be transferable or assignable.
(e) All registrations issued under the provisions of this section shall expire biennially.
(f) Failure to receive a notice of registration expiration or a renewal application shall not exempt a locksmith from the obligation to renew his or her registration.
(g) The commissioner may adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, to carry out the provisions of this section.
(h) The commissioner may conduct investigations and hold hearings on any matter subject to the provisions of this section. The commissioner may issue subpoenas, administer oaths, compel testimony and order the production of books, records and documents in connection with such investigations. If any person refuses to appear, to testify or to produce any book, record, paper or document when so ordered, upon application of the commissioner or the Attorney General, a judge of the Superior Court may make such order as may be appropriate to aid in the enforcement of this section. The Attorney General, at the request of the commissioner, is authorized to apply in the name of the state of Connecticut to the Superior Court for an order temporarily or permanently restraining and enjoining any person from violating any provision of this section.
(i) The commissioner may revoke, suspend, place conditions on, or refuse to renew a registration issued pursuant to this section for: (1) Conduct of a character likely to mislead, deceive or defraud the public or the commissioner; (2) engaging in any untruthful or misleading advertising; (3) unfair or deceptive business practices; (4) gross incompetence; or (5) violations of any of the provisions of this section or any regulation adopted pursuant to any of such provisions.
(j) The commissioner may, after notice and hearing in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, impose a civil penalty on any person who engages in or practices the work or occupation for which a registration is required by this section without having first obtained such a registration, or who wilfully employs or supplies for employment a person who does not have such a registration, or who wilfully and falsely pretends to qualify to engage in or practice such work or occupation, or who engages in or practices any of the work or occupations for which a registration is required by this section after the expiration of such person's registration, or who violates any of the provisions of this section or the regulations adopted pursuant thereto. Such penalty shall be in an amount not more than five hundred dollars for a first violation of this subsection, not more than seven hundred fifty dollars for a second violation of this subsection occurring not more than three years after a prior violation, and not more than one thousand five hundred dollars for a third or subsequent violation of this subsection occurring not more than three years after a prior violation. Any penalty collected pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited in the consumer protection enforcement account established in section 21a-8a.
(k) A violation of any of the provisions of this section shall be deemed an unfair or deceptive trade practice under subsection (a) of section 42-110b.
(P.A. 08-81, S. 2; P.A. 21-37, S. 37; 21-197, S. 12; P.A. 22-70, S. 7.)
History: P.A. 21-37 amended Subsec. (b)(1) to specify criminal history records check be state and national and conducted in accordance with Sec. 29-17a, effective June 4, 2021; P.A. 21-197 amended Subsec. (b)(5) to add Subpara. (J) re exemption for service, installation or repair of electronic locks or other devices that connect to electronic security system, effective July 1, 2021; P.A. 22-70 made technical and conforming changes in Subsecs. (b)(1) and (b)(5)(E).
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