What Proof Do You Need To Get a Key Cut?

What Proof Do You Need To Get a Key Cut

In an age of heightened security awareness, the simple act of getting a key cut is not as straightforward as it used to be. Gone are the days when anyone could walk into a locksmith’s shop with a key and get a copy made on the spot, no questions asked.

In the UK, regulations and best practices have been tightened to prevent unauthorised key duplication. But what exactly does this mean for consumers? Let’s dive into the specifics of what proof you need to get a key cut in the UK.

What Proof Do You Need To Get a Key Cut?

1. Understanding the Importance of Key Control

Before we delve into the requirements, it’s vital to understand why such measures exist. With increasing concerns about security breaches, thefts, and home invasions, controlling who has access to keys has become paramount.

Understanding the Importance of Key Control

A stolen or lost key can be a significant risk, especially if it falls into the wrong hands. By ensuring that only authorised persons can get keys duplicated, risks can be substantially mitigated.

2. Standard Household Keys

For most everyday household keys, there aren’t strict regulations in place. This is because these keys usually operate simple pin tumbler locks that aren’t considered high security. That being said, a responsible key cutting service will often ask some basic questions to ensure that you have a legitimate reason for needing the key cut:

  • Purpose: Why do you need the key duplicated? A straightforward answer like “It’s for my spouse” or “I need a spare for my child” is typically sufficient.
  • Ownership: Do you own or rent the property the key is for? In some cases, you might be asked to prove that you have the authority to duplicate the key, especially if there’s suspicion.

3. Restricted or Security Keys

If your key looks different from the usual household keys, it might be a restricted or security key. These keys are designed to provide an added layer of protection, and duplicating them without proper authorisation is illegal.

Restricted or Security Keys

Here’s what you might need:

  • Key Card: Many high-security locks come with a key card when they are installed. This card contains a unique code and is a form of ID for the key. Without this card, a locksmith might refuse to make a duplicate.
  • Proof of Identity: Be ready to show a form of photo ID, like a driving licence or passport. This ensures that the person requesting the key cut is the authorised person on the key card.
  • Written Authorisation: In commercial settings or for rented properties, written permission from the building’s management or the property owner might be required.

4. Vehicle Keys

Duplicating vehicle keys is a specialised service due to the built-in transponder chips. Beyond the technicalities of key duplication:

  • Vehicle Registration: You might need to show your vehicle’s registration document to prove ownership.
  • Personal Identification: A photo ID will likely be required to cross-verify with the vehicle registration.

5. When Might You Not Need Proof?

When Might You Not Need Proof

In some situations, proof might not be strictly necessary:

  • Old or Antique Keys: If you’re duplicating a key for an old or antique lock, it’s less likely that you’ll need to provide evidence. These keys are often unique and don’t pose a contemporary security threat.
  • Non-Secure Applications: Keys for items like padlocks, filing cabinets, or simple storage units often don’t necessitate proof of ownership.

6. Finding a Reputable Key Cutter

Your best bet in ensuring a smooth key duplication process is to use a reputable key-cutting service. They’ll guide you through the necessary steps and requirements. This not only ensures that your key is cut correctly but also that all security protocols are followed to the letter.


The world of key duplication has become more complex in the interest of public safety. It’s essential to understand these nuances to ensure that the process of getting a key cut is as seamless as possible. By being prepared and understanding the reasons behind these measures, you can help maintain a high level of security for yourself and your community.