WH Software Knowledge Base

Vin to Key Code

The prospect of calculating mechanical key codes from a vehicle’s VIN number is simply not possible.

This is because of a number of reasons:

  1. There is no collation between the VIN and the key code. The reality is that when a vehicle is assembled then a random lockset is placed in the vehicle.
    It is only after the fact that the mechanical key code is recorded (by most vehicle manufactures).
  2. The locks on any vehicle can be (and often are) changed for a number of reasons. It is relatively uncommon for these changes to be recorded with the vehicle’s manufacturer, especially once the vehicle has been resold.

However over the years a large number of individuals and organisations have found profit can be made by making the same enquiries that the owner of the vehicle (and often anyone else too) can make to acquire the information that was recorded by the manufacture at the time of assembly. And usually this service is free! These individuals and organizations are often referred to as “Code Brokers”.

This service has led a number of unfortunate situations with the locksmithing industry:

  1. A myth has arisen that there is software available that will convert the VIN to the Key code. While this is completely untrue and will never be a possibility (as explained earlier), there are a couple of software programs available that pretend to do this.  They do this by having copies of the original manufactures databases built into them and then simply lookup the VIN’s record.  This is why they are limited to specific data ranges of vehicles and VINs starting with specific characters (as the start of a VIN denotes the factory it was assembled in).
  2. A large number of unskilled tradesmen have entered the industry and have been able to pass themselves off as being something that they are not; A locksmith.

So if you are unable to determine the key code to a vehicle using traditional locksmith tools and techniques (which incidentally are faster and cheaper than Code Broker services) then we suggest you contact either a skill locksmith or the vehicle’s original manufacture for the information.

If you are such a locksmith, then please remember that your skills and abilities is your point of difference to any home handy man or hardware store who cuts keys.
And while the idea of such a program may sound nice, the reality is that you should be thankful that no such program can ever exist because if it did the entire industry would be at risk!

Article Details

Last Updated
16th of April, 2015

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