Last Updated on December 1, 2022
Proof of Ownership Before Opening Your Property
I’m the first to admit it, our company can be a pain. It’s true. But this is a good thing.
Legitimate locksmiths will verify proof of ownership before opening any property for you (car, home, safe, etc…). They will ask you to prove that you have rights to be in the property by having a title, registration, photo ID, piece of mail or some other document with your name it and the property address.
If you don’t have something that confirms you have rights to the property you’re asking us to open, we’ll ask that someone that does have that right be present when we arrive on site.
If that can’t be done, there’s more work to do before we will let you in….faxes, photo IDs, verification with property records…. as I said, we can be a pain when you’re asking us to unlock your home or car.
Are Locksmiths Required to Verify Ownership Before Letting You In?
Unfortunately, in most states the answer is no, but all credible locksmith companies will ask that you provide proof of ownership before letting you in.
In fact, if you hire a locksmith that doesn’t ask for this, it’s a red flag that you are about to be priced gouged by an unskilled, unscrupulous person.
We won’t unlock a car or a home for just anyone that calls us because they could be….well….anyone.
How to Provide Proof of Ownership
Homes / Businesses
- Provide a drivers license with the address of the property
- Provide a piece of mail addressed to you at the property with a photo ID
- Show company records (business card o r website) that shows you name and position with the company
- Provide a copy of the lease
- We can look you up on the county property records to verify the name of the owner, then provide an ID when we are onsite matching that name
- If you’ve just purchased the home, and don’t have a key, a closing statement will work
- Your name will need to be on the car’s registration, proof of insurance, or title with a photo id
Safes are a little different because people don’t typical keep proof of purchase. To verify ownership of a safe the locksmith will verify that you have access to the property where the safe is located. That can be any of the home / business methods above. Once that has been confirmed, we will access a locked safe.
The thought is that, if you have legal access to the property, you have access to everything within the property.
Even with all of our caution, we can’t go far enough. We were once called out to gain access to a safe. We were told it was his father’s safe and that his dad had passed away. The son’s ID showed the address of the property where the safe was located. At that point we knew that the son lived or could access the home. But there is no way for someone to prove that something in the home was bought by them, but legally, if he has access to the home, he could gain access to the safe.
So we drilled the safe open for him. We were contacted by the police several days later. Dad had not died, he had simply cut his son off from his money. So, the son robbed him. We presented the documentation the son provided us and we were off the hook, but I’ll never forget that, and we will never gain access to a house or a car (where we can verify ownership) without authorization or legal documentation.
What Won’t Locksmiths Accept?
- We don’t accept “phone authorizations” because it can be anyone on the phone.
- We don’t accept email authorizations, because anyone could have sent the email.
We do this for you, the property owner, to protect your property from someone trying to get into it.
Sometimes, potential customers complain about their having to provide this information before we will let them in. Sometimes they simply hangup and call someone else, we know of many companies that will let just anyone in. Yes, we lose the business, but that’s OK. Because that’s a red flag. We won’t risk your property.
But most of the time customers understand the need. They get it. We’re protecting them. We’re professionals. We’re not just a guy showing up in a t-shirt, shorts, in an unmarked vehicle to make a buck.
And that’s what the other locksmith companies, the ones that will let anyone in without requiring proof of ownership or access rights, aren’t doing for you.
Robert has been the Owner of ACME Locksmith, Arizona’s #1 Rated Locksmith, since 2007. Robert’s company has provided locksmith service to over 160,000 Phoenix houses and businesses.