How to duplicate a BMW key

Updated February 21, 2017

Since the early 1990s, BMW has included electronic microchips in car keys to help deter thieves. The cars will not start if the key does not transmit the correct electronic signals when it is placed in the ignition. It is important to have your BMW's replacement key correctly made and have the new microchip programmed by a professional, or the duplicate key may not work.

Take your existing key to an automotive locksmith or BMW dealership. The dealership may charge more for its services, depending on what kind of blank keys are used and the actual cost to replace the key.

Have the locksmith or dealership make and program a replacement microchipped key.

Test the key to make sure it works. Open the doors and start the car. Keys that are not correctly programmed sometimes still work to open car doors, but will not start the car.


You may be able to save money by ordering microchipped key blanks online.


Use caution when selecting a business to duplicate your car keys, as keys in the wrong people's possession can lead to car theft.

Things You'll Need

  • Original key
  • Microchipped replacement key blank provided by locksmith or dealership
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About the Author

Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.