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What to Do When Your Car Keys are Lost

Misplacing our car keys can send us into a spiral of panic and despair – especially when we’re not in a convenient location. Who can blame you! Our cars are a pivotal part of our daily lives. Many of us can’t afford to be without a vehicle for an extended period of time. But take a breath. The first thing you should do when you lose your car keys is remain calm. Did you take a breath? Good. Now we can come up with a course of action to get you back on the road. 

Do You Have a Spare?

Most cars will come with a spare. If you do have a spare, you will only have a slightly inconvenient journey in recovering your car. Have a friend pick you up if you’re away from home and track down that key. You’ll be driving again in no time! 

If you don’t have a spare, you’ll need to have a locksmith let you into your vehicle and have them make you a new key. The following steps will help move you in the right direction:

What Kind of Car Key Do You Have? 


  • Traditional car keys
    Traditional Car Keys
  • Transponder Car Key
    Transponder Key
  • Switchblade Car Key
    Switchblade Key
  • Key FOB or Smart Key
    Key FOB or Smart Key

There are a few different categories that your car keys will fall into. Before you make any moves to have a new key made, identify what kind of key you have. This is a crucial piece of information that will help your locksmith better serve you. Familiarize yourself with the following four categories and see which one your keys fall into: 

  • Traditional - this type of key will be a basic key made of cut metal. It won’t include any type of encoding. 
  • Transponder Key - if a key includes buttons for keyless entry and a traditional key, it likely falls into this category.
  • Switchblade Key - based on the design of a switchblade knife, this type of key is similar to a transponder key but it also folds into itself. 
  • Key Fob or Smart Key - this newer type of key uses fob technology to unlock and start the ignition when you’re in range of the vehicle. It also features transponder-like buttons.

Gather Important Information 

Now that you know what kind of key you have, you should gather some more information to make your experience go as smoothly as possible. You will need some information about yourself and your vehicle handy when you get in touch with a locksmith. 

  • Exactly where your car is located 
  • The vehicle year, make, and model
  • Your vehicle registration
  • The vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Your personal identification (license or passport) 

What If I Don’t Know My VIN? 

The VIN is a very important piece of information to have handy if you lose your keys. It traces the vehicle back to its original key code so a new one can be made. If you don’t know it there are some ways you can track it down. First, check the dashboard on the driver’s side of the vehicle. There should be a VIN number listed there. 


Graphic of where a VIN is located
Photo Credit: Texas Department of Motor Vehicles

If for whatever reason you can’t see the VIN number on the driver’s side window, you can try to find it on the paperwork from when you purchased the vehicle, the vehicle title, or your insurance card. If these items aren’t handy, you can call your car dealership to secure the VIN number. 

Get in Touch With Your Local Locksmith 

Regardless of the type of key you have, you can have a new key made without the hassle of going to the dealership. With all the necessary information in front of you, call your trusted locksmith to help you navigate the issue. Be sure that the company you call is able to help with opening locked vehicles and creating new keys – not all locksmith establishments offer these services.  

If you locked your car keys in your vehicle and you just needed to be let back in, consider creating a spare key anyway. This will save you a lot of heartache down the road if you lose your key permanently. 

Lost Your House Keys Too?

When you lose your car keys, chances are your house keys and other important keys will be lost with them. Your local locksmith can help with this too! Bring your spare keys in and have new ones whipped up in no time. 

If you’re in the Orlando area and you need help getting back into your car or house, , get in touch with D. Cerda Locksmith. We operate 24 hours a day so we can help you get back into your car or home when there’s an emergency! 


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