Do Not Duplicate Keys (DND) vs. Restricted Keys

High Security Restricted Keys vs Do-Not-Duplicate (DND) Keys

How do you stop employees from making copies of your company keys? Restricted keys and high security keys are the best way. Nowadays, anyone can copy a DND key.

What is Key Control?

Key control means that you have access and knowledge of every key you own. Only people you have approved will have a copy of the key and only people you have designated can make copies of a key. No unauthorized key duplicates can be made. When you get your key back from an employee, you are certain that no copies were made.

What is Bad Key Control?

Bad key control means that anyone who obtained a copy of the key can get a copy made without your knowledge.

Key Stamping

This is the least expensive option that consists of a standard key being labeled as DND (do not duplicate). Most legitimate locksmiths and key supply companies will not copy DND keys unless you can prove you have the authority to make a copy. That is, you need to prove that you own the lock that you are getting a key copy made for.

Unfortunately, besides being labeled as DND there is nothing that actually prevents a DND key from being copied. Getting copies made could be as simple as taking the key to an automated key machine that completely ignores the DND stamp or to an inexperienced person that doesn’t honor the stamps.

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Restricted Keyways

This is a more expensive, but much more controlled way to prevent keys from being copied. Restricted keyways are keys that only registered companies own. That is, you get a lock and a key that only one company can sell and duplicate. What’s more, the registered companies are normally restricted by region.

If you buy a restricted keyway at ACME locksmith, you will only be able to get copies of that key made at ACME Locksmith. No one issued a key can get copies made anywhere else and all attempts to get copies made will fail because it simply cannot be done. Companies registered with restricted keyways must honor the DND intent and only make keys for someone that has been authorized to do so. Anything less than this, and the company faces consequences. More details on high-security keyways.


Key copy protection is an important part of managing your key control and protecting your assets. ACME Locksmith offers both types of key protection. We honor DND keys regardless of the type of copy protection you have chosen. We will not duplicate a key unless you are on file with us as being the owner of the lock that the key opens or you can prove to us that you are the owner.