What does do not duplicate mean on a key?

Keys, keys, keys are a never-ending part of our lives. There are many key types and they all differ based on the lock manufacturer. We will discuss some keyways, especially those with “do not duplicate” text on the key grip.

DO NOT DUPLICATE engraving on the key is just an imitation or warning of key duplication restriction. There is no law saying that someone who makes a copy of a key with “do not duplicate” inscription will be prosecuted. That sign is created just to try to prevent from making a copy of that key. That engravement would serve the purpose of at least as a mental obstacle that will make someone hesitate to make a copy without permission. However, any locksmith or even key-cutting machine in Home Depot can spit out a duplicate key.

Will Home Depot copy a do not duplicate the key?

Yes, Homedepot can make you a copy of “do not duplicate”. Homedepot has its own key and locks department that can cut most general keyways. For that service, you will need to request assistance from associates.

Moreover, Homedepot like Lowes or Walmart has an automated key-cutting machine that can copy “do not duplicate”. You don’t have to talk or ask, just insert the key, and Minute Key or Yale Express machines will make you another key but without “do not duplicate” signage on the grip. Generally, machines check if the keyway is supported by their program and reads cuts of the key, not the place where you grab a key.

Does Ace Hardware make copies of keys?

Yes, Ace Hardware makes copies not only of house keys but some of the car keys as well. They have a corner where you can see key specialists that will be happy to assist you.


I am Rauan, I have over 4 years of experience as a locksmith tech and then as the owner of my own company. I live in Houston, TX, and love to provide valuable insights related to locks. Enjoy reading

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