I Lost My Keys: How Do I Get Replacement Car Keys?

Transponder Key: Impossible to Replace?

How to Get Replacement Car Keys Made

You lost your car keys and have no extra ones lying around. So how will you get a replacement if you have nothing to copy? Hmmm, I do believe that you are in trouble. You will need to come up with a plan.

I'll tell you what you do. You can either call a locksmith and spend a small fortune or you can turn to your local dealer to help fix the problem.

Call the local dealer of the type of car you own to see what kind of paperwork you will need to get a set of replacement car keys for your car. I am sure every car line is different (such as Ford, Lexus, Toyota, Lincoln, or Mazda). I'm not sure about every brand, but I can tell you what you need to know about GM cars since I have been a GM parts specialist for more than 30 years.

Getting a Replacement Key from the Dealer

Let’s start from the beginning. It all started around 1990 when the manufacturers started putting passlock theft deterrent chips in their keys (for GM, it is a vats code 1-15). Since then, it has become a problem if your vehicle is equipped with a passlock theft deterrent system and you have no keys. You have to have your vehicle towed to your local GM dealership to have it programmed to your new key.

Of course, if you have a duplicate key, then there's no problem: Just head over to your local dealer and have them copy you a new key. Tell them you need to get a set of duplicate car keys for your vehicle. Your parts specialist will tell you how to program your new key to your vehicle.

You'll need the following documents for proof of ownership (per GM and the Federal Government). If you don't have this info, then you don't get a key, plain and simple.

  • Your car registration, vehicle title, or insurance card. What we need here is your vehicle's VIN number, the owner's name, and the license plate number.
  • Photo Identification with the name and address matching your info on line 1.

Take the above information to your local dealership and request the replacement key or keys. They should be able to do this while you wait. Hopefully, you won’t have to have your vehicle towed to the dealer for programming. The cost of this varies from vehicle to vehicle but should range anywhere from $80 to $350, with remotes being extra.

Hope this information helps you out.

As always,

That's Kool Info

Lost BMW Key Recovered

General Motors Parts Department Customers

Comments 10 comments

tara 16 months ago

We're going to make a few extra keys for my sons car. He's already locked himself out twice, and it's been three months. I've heard of magnetic holds that you can put on the bottom of the car with spare keys. I'd love to do that for him so we don't have to drive to wherever he is. Hopefully he'll just learn to take the keys with him when he leaves. http://www.lostkeystx.com/services


Ashley 20 months ago

I lock myself out of my car so often, that I've decided to make half a dozen keys to hide and give out. They don't need to do much, just open the door so I can get my keys back. Hopefully I can find a place that will do it, there isn't a dealership near by, so I'll be going with a locksmith. http://www.fradonlock.com/automotive/


Richard 21 months ago

I lose my key my key have chip i have pontiac firebirt 98

Who can help me


Brad 2 years ago

If your in Los Angeles these guys www.LocksmithOfLosAngeles.com can do most cars.


krissh 3 years ago

I lost key of 2009 totaya Camry,and I don't have extra key, how much it take to buy new key ?


Limecat 3 years ago

I lost the keys for a 2000 Buick. My GM parts dept wanted $80 for the key fob and another $40 to program it to the car. The keys were another $40.

The fob is available online for $40 with instructions on how to program it. I guess if you're helpless, you could let the dealer overcharge you. Fortunately I had another set of keys. Once the new set of remotes (including my remaining original) is programmed into the car's memory the lost one won't work, so I'm feeling good about my car's security again.

The keys are a little trickier - you have to know the chip number. These come in 1 through 15. If you take your key to a GM delaer parts dept they will have the tool and can tell you which you have. Then a spare key blank can be ordered for a lot less than dealer price and cut for a couple of bucks at any place that makes keys - Home Depot, Ace, etc.

$170 at the dealer or $60-ish if you can wait a little while for delivery from online ordering.


Scott 3 years ago

This was full of helpful information, but the way this article was written distracted me from what you were trying to say. Please follow normal grammar rules!


Rachel 4 years ago

I was looking up the cheapest way to have this done and I wouod agree to stay away from the locksmith. Instead go to your local dealership to have them read it from the vin. Also they will cut your keys for free so instead of spending $35 for each one buy them from walmart or someplace that cuts keys. It's about $50-$60 to have them look up the code.


Andrew 4 years ago

This advice is good if you have AN EXTRA CAR laying around to drive to a dealer with. Or if your like me and have one vehicle and are stranded out of town. ITs even better advice..


thatchjl profile image

thatchjl 4 years ago from Dayton, Ohio

This is such good advice, it is amazing how frustrated people are who have lost there keys and have no idea what to do next. The best advice is take your VIN number and go to the closest dealer parts department to get replacements. Forget the locksmith and let the dealer help.

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