TITLE 21

Motor Vehicles

Operation and Equipment

CHAPTER 46. ADVERTISEMENT AND SALE OF MASTER KEYS


(a) Whoever knowingly introduces, manufactures for introduction or transports or distributes in this State any motor vehicle master key shall be fined not more than $2,000, or imprisoned not more than 5 years or both.

(b) Whoever knowingly disseminates or knowingly causes to be disseminated any advertisement or sale to the public of this State motor vehicle master keys shall be fined not more than $2,000, or imprisoned not more than 5 years or both.

(c) As used in this section, "master key" means any key adapted to fit the ignition switch of 2 or more motor vehicles, the ignition switches of which are designed to operate by different keys.

21 Del. C. 1953, § 4601; 57 Del. Laws, c. 48.;

Section 4601 of this title shall not apply to:

(1) The introduction, manufacture for introduction, transportation, distribution, sale or possession in this State of motor vehicle master keys for use in the ordinary course of business by any bona fide locksmith, vehicle manufacturer, lock manufacturer, common carrier, contract carrier, new or used car dealer, rental car agency, automobile club or association or any department, agency or instrumentality of:

a. This State;

b. The United States; or

c. Any political subdivisions of any such entity;

(2) The shipment, transportation or delivery for shipment in this State of motor vehicle master keys in the ordinary course of business of any common carrier or contract carrier.

21 Del. C. 1953, § 4602; 57 Del. Laws, c. 48.;

Any person, corporation, agency, association, club, department or carrier possessing any master key pursuant to this chapter shall, before May 30, 1969, and every 6 months thereafter, submit to the Secretary of Public Safety of this State a list describing all master keys which it possesses. Any person, corporation, agency, association, club, department or carrier which submits a list pursuant to this section which list does not contain any master key which was described in any previous list to the Secretary of Public Safety shall, in writing, notify the Secretary of Public Safety of the reason for omission. Whoever knowingly fails to comply with this section shall be fined not more than $2,300, or imprisoned not more than 5 years or both.

21 Del. C. 1953, § 4603; 57 Del. Laws, c. 48; 57 Del. Laws, c. 670, § 29; 68 Del. Laws, c. 9, § 54.;

(a) No person shall have in possession any motor vehicle master key, manipulative key or device, key-cutting device, lock pick or lock picking device or hot wire, designed to open or capable of opening the door or trunk of any motor vehicle or of starting the engine of a motor vehicle. Any person who violates this subsection shall be guilty of a class E felony as the same is defined in Chapter 42 of Title 11 and shall be sentenced in accordance therewith.

(b) This section shall not apply to any bona fide dealer of new or used motor vehicles, a car rental agent, a locksmith, a public utility subject to the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission or the agents of such persons while such persons or their agents are acting within the scope of their employment. This section shall not apply to a private investigator who in the usual course of business repossesses vehicles if such investigator is licensed and bonded by the State or the employees of such private investigator while the employee is repossessing vehicles in the usual course of business and is bonded and licensed by the State. This section shall not apply to a state, county or municipal law-enforcement officer who is acting within the scope of official duties. Nor shall this section apply to a bona fide business which has a key-cutting device located and used on the premises for the purpose of making replacement keys.

59 Del. Laws, c. 559, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;