One of the first things we learn as locksmiths are the fact that our service can be misused. If anything, there are countless cases of impersonators hiring a locksmith to gain access to someone else’s vehicle or home. That’s why, as a Standard Operating Procedure, every locksmith in North America starts by verifying the identity of the person who has hired them.
Whether you call a locksmith to Unlock a House, Shop or a Car, we will often ask you to prove that you own the property or have the right to be on it. We’ll ask if the title is in your name, or does the registration of the car match your driver’s license? Is the home address shown on the driver’s license etc?
Now if you don’t have something that can verify you as the owner of the property or for one that you have the right to enter, then we’ll ask that you bring someone who has the right. Furthermore, if you can’t produce another party, then we need to find other ways to identify your link to the property like a photo ID, property records etc.
While we admit that verifying a person’s identity can be a pain and often time-consuming, it is a necessary part of the job.
Does the Law Require Locksmiths to Verify Ownership Before Gaining Entry on Your Behalf?
In the majority of American states, a locksmith or a Locksmith Company does not legally need to verify ownership or rights to the property. However, credible companies take extra steps to ensure that they only work for people who have the right to be on the property.
That said if a locksmith company does not verify your identity, it is a red flag that you are now dealing with perhaps an uncertified and even unskilled locksmith.
How Can a Homeowner Provide Proof of Ownership to a Locksmith Company?
Here is how ownership can be proven:
• Provide the locksmith with your drivers’ license that has the address of the property on it.
• You can provide a photo ID that has your mailing address
• Show business records like a website, business card etc. anything that will show your position and name of the business
• Show the company a copy of your rental agreement or lease
• The locksmith should be able to hook you up to the local country property records department to verify your name, and then you can provide an ID when onsite that matches that name.
• If you have just bought the home, and currently don’t have the keys then provide the company with a closing statement.
Proving Automotive Ownership
• In most cases, all that is needed is the car’s registration, title or proof of insurance along with a photo ID.
Now even after all this caution, things just aren’t as secure as they should be. That said it is worth trying mainly because that’s something a certified locksmith is committed to doing just so that they don’t end up breaking the law. However, in 90% of cases, we get it right and most if not everyone understands the reason why these steps are taken.
What is Considered Not Valid Proof of Ownership for a Locksmith Company?
• Generally, a locksmith will not accept phone authorizations since anyone can be on the other end of the phone.
• Also, email authorizations aren’t accepted because the email could be sent by anyone.
While the extra steps that locksmiths take may make the property owner uncomfortable or hesitant, but it is in the best interests of those who own the property. Think would you want someone entering into your home without an authorization?
Many times people complain that we are asking for personal information when it isn’t our job. At times people hang up and then they call another locksmith to try their luck. However, no credible locksmith service will let you in without verifying your identity and link to the property.
When you Hire a Locksmith Service, always make sure that you have a way of proving your link or ownership to the property. If you are a vehicle owner, then things are easier because registration documents should be able to prove that you own the vehicle. However, things can be tricky for a homeowner or office owner.
That said a credible Locksmith Company should be able to work with you to verify your identity before letting you in. Think of it as a mandatory step to protect you!