All Keyd Up

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I’ve lost my key, now what?

Give us a call! If you force a door, whether it is a home, office or car, you can cause damage that will be even more expensive than a locksmith. If you call a locksmith and end up paying out of pocket, take or mail the invoice to your insurance company.  Most will write you a reimbursement check if you have road side service on your policy.  If you have lost the key to  your house, office or vehicle, you may want to consider getting them re-keyed. If stolen from you car or purse, your insurance company – in many cases – will pay for your car to be re-keyed. They find it cheaper than replacing your vehicle.

Q:  Can’t you just use my VIN number to get into my car?

A common misconception is that you can just call up a locksmith and give them your V.I.N. (vehicle identification number) and they can make a key for your vehicle. We sometimes hear, “My friend works for a repo company and they can do it.” This may or may not be the case. For newer vehicles, the VIN can be a helpful tool. The number a locksmith needs to make a key for your vehicle is called a “code” number. Car dealerships require proof of registration and ownership before they will give out this information. A dealership uses your VIN number to see what the code number is for that vehicle IF the vehicle is ten (10) years old or less. If the vehicle is older than that, it doesn’t do much good for a locksmith.  If you buy a used vehicle, there is a 50/50 chance it has been re-keyed, which would make the codes inapplicable. Newer vehicles also use transponder technology, which means not only is the code needed for the key, but also the transponder code.

Q: What does is mean to re-key my locks?

Re-keying is when the cylinder of your lock is changed by replacing the pins so that your current key no longer works with it. Instead, a new key is used. Some reasons people re-key their locks include a tenant moving out, a lost or stolen key, or a new home purchase. One of the most popular reasons is to have all your locks using only one key, which is very convenient.  This can only work, however, if all your locks are of a compatible brand. Sometimes when hardware is installed into your house you can purchase them to be “keyed alike”. This means that all the locks operate on the same key. If you decide to add a lock later on, you can re-key that lock as well. Another reason people choose to re-key is to prevent theft from someone who had a key but no longer works or lives there. Re-keying is much less expensive than replacing all the locks.

Q: What can be re-keyed?

Deadbolts, doorknobs, automobile door locks and ignition switches can all be re-keyed. Sometimes replacement is a better option, depending on whether or not there is any damage present. We can evaluate the situation and explain your options.

Q:  What is a Master-key System?

A master-key system allows you to control access and organization to your physical security network.  One easy way to explain master-keying is to think of a hotel. The owner has one key that fits everything – all the rooms, store-rooms, offices, etc. The office manager has a key that fits only the offices. The maids have a key that only fit the rooms. Then the guest have a key that fits only the room in which they are staying. If one of the guests leaves and takes their key, then a locksmith can invalidate that key and re-key the room to a new key. This will not, however, affect the other keys.  Or if one of the house-keeping personnel leaves, the doors can be re-keyed to replace that key which will not affect the rest of the keys, etc.

Q: My spouse / tenant / roommate seriously messed up, and I want to change the locks to keep that !*@#& out.  Can you do that?

We can change the locks, but unless you can show us paperwork demonstrating that a resident's right to live in or access a dwelling has been legally severed, we are obliged to provide a copy of the key to the new locks to that !*@#&.  We recommend changing the locks only after appropriate legal steps have been taken to end their right to access the premises.

Q:  Why do you need to verify I own or have legal use of a vehicle, dwelling or safe?

Even if you seem really, really nice, we're responsible for ensuring we do not inadvertently assist someone with a criminal act.

Q:  Why do you charge a trip charge for an emergency call, even if I no longer need your service?

We sometimes receive emergency calls from people who call several locksmiths at the same time.  They do this to get someone out to the scene as quickly as possible, intending to only pay the first person to arrive.  We always endeavor to arrive as quickly as possible or provide an accurate estimate of how long it will take us to reach you.  If you find your backup key or another locksmith beats us to the scene, we will charge a $50 trip charge to cover our costs and time.  However, if you call and cancel before a locksmith has been dispatched, you will not be charged a trip charge.

Q:  I repossess cars for a living and have the legal right to take these vehicles.  Can you help me?

Nope. Sorry. We don't like being shot at or chased with baseball bats.  Please don't ask again.

Q:  I have need of a unique locksmith service not mentioned in this website... can you help?

Odds are good... call (803) 748-7484, and we'll be glad to see if we can help!

Do you have any others questions?  Shoot us an email, and we'll provide an answer!





A Proud Member of:

Better Business Bureau Angie's List South Carolina Locksmith Association Locksmiths of America Safe and Vault Technicians Association