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Garmin Lock


Garmin Lock has been introduced in the latest Garmin GPS receivers. We previously broke the news of the new Garmin StreetPilot c550 which includes this new feature. Garmin Lock was created to help prevent against GPS theft… a growing crime.

Garmin Lock works by requiring the user to type in a four digit PIN number before the GPS receiver becomes operational. If the PIN number is not known, Garmin Lock will prevent the GPS receiver from working.

42 Responses

  1. […] The Garmin Nuvi 360 comes with Garmin Lock which is a system for requiring an PIN number to access the GPS receiver functions. Text-to-speech is also an advantage the Garmin Nuvi 360 has over the Nuvi 310. June Mid July is the target availability date. […]

    Garmin Nuvi 360 GPS Review - June 10th, 2006
  2. My c550 was stolen out of my car last week. It is protected by GarminLock but I was wondering if this is known to be cracked already. I’m asking this question because I had these (tini) anti-theft-stickers at the windows but this didn’t prevent the bast**ds to break the window and take away the c550. From the police I learned that there is a gang going around which seems to be well organized so chances are that they didn’t care much about GarminLock.
    I would really love to see a way to report this device as beeing stolen just to make sure that it is useless for the new “owner”…

    Olaf - November 12th, 2007
  3. Olaf, one of the best things you can do is to contact Garmin and report it stolen. They will mark it as stolen in their database. Then if someone contacts them about a repair (like if they can’t get past the lock) then they have a chance of assisting the recovery of your GPS.

    Tim - November 12th, 2007
  4. This GPS lock is useless. It doesnt prevent it from being stolen, just being used after it is stolen. Doesnt help you as you still have to buy another one. Silly function worth nothing. And I love Garmin. But this feature missed the mark.

    Darren - April 18th, 2009
    • It is good as it was intended. Somewhere down the line we need to be responsible for securing our property.

      Larry - March 16th, 2010
    • This feature is absolutely required. If the GPS is stolen with your Home information in it without a Garmin lock, you are giving the thief your address. I think this is exactly on the mark, help you protect your other personal, and keeps Garmin on the GPS market.

      Rachel - December 12th, 2010
  5. Mine was just stolen, too. I presume the lock works with cogent thieves who know it won;t do them any good to steal it, and that’s the disincentive to them and the benefit to owners. That said, I have little faith that the pros don’t have a way to crack the codes.

    I wish I knew what else Garmin could or would actually do to ID the thieves. I know of no place on the Web site for reporting stolen units.

    Robert - June 5th, 2009
    • Robert, the best place to report it to (other than the police) is Garmin themselves.

      Tim - June 5th, 2009
    • It is not Garmin’s job to protect our equipment. Its ours.

      The Garmin lock software, if used, makes the GPS useless to a thief. Thieves are stupid and just maybe one will call Garmin to learn how to unlock the unit or will sell it to an unsuspecting person who will call Garmin and the person may get their GPS back.

      Larry - June 25th, 2009
  6. I just bought the mechanical locking device to help prevent theives from stealing the Garmin from its mount. It’s not fool proof, but like any lock, it will deter the less determined crooks from taking the Garmin from its mount.

    Larry - June 10th, 2009
  7. Fyi – it’s not going to work right away. However, if all GPS Units come equipped and utilizing the locking feature, then the concept will work. Thieves will be guaranteed that a PIN is needed an hence won’t bother stealing something they can’t sell.

    Michael - June 23rd, 2009
    • Part of the problem is that too many people know how to bypass it.

      Tim - June 23rd, 2009
  8. I just had my Garmin stolen last night outside my hotel room. Here’s my question.. It’s a GPS system. Why can’t Garmin just track it down through the system and tell the cops where it’s at?

    Steve Baxter - July 20th, 2009
    • GPS is only a one way communication protocol. Your device receives information from the GPS satellites but nothing is transmitted back. There isn’t any way (through the GPS system) for your GPS to transmit anything.

      Tim - July 20th, 2009
      • That is what they say but I don’t buy that for a second.

        Aaron - March 25th, 2010
        • Then do some basic research and if you still don’t believe start prepping your tinfoil hat.

          Tim - March 25th, 2010
  9. There are worse things than having a GPS stolen, including having the thief use it to visit you or your friends. Hopefully if there is a way to reset the PIN, it erases everything, but I haven’t yet determined if that’s true.

    Bob Sadur - September 16th, 2009
  10. I reported a stolen GPS to Garmin and on

    Not saying I’ll ever see it again, but hopefully the thief will get caught. What else can I do? Why doesn’t Garmin track these stolen GPS units – seems pretty easy to do; it is a GPS after-all.

    K - November 24th, 2009
    • GPS is a one-way technology. The GPS receives data from the satellites but does not transmit any data. Therefore Garmin cannot “track” a GPS.

      Tim - November 25th, 2009
  11. I forget my password so how can can sin in?

    Søren Gregersen - December 27th, 2009
    • Go to the place where you were when you created the password.

      Tim - December 27th, 2009
  12. Just had my nuvi 765 stolen . Can’t seem to find a Ph # to call for reporting it stolen. Anybody?

    Dan - January 19th, 2010
    • In order to report it to Garmin, you need to fax a paper with your full name, contact info, serial number, and a brief explanation of what happened to 913-440-8280. You also need to fax a copy of the purchase receipt (only if you didn’t already register it on the Garmin website).

      Jon - February 4th, 2010
  13. The garmin lock is a good feature, but badly implemented. If you mis-type your pin just once, the only way to gain access to your gps is to go back to your security location. I have a Zumo 550 and this recently happened to me, fortunately I wasn’t miles away from home, so it wasn’t that bad, but I hate to imagine what would happened if I’d been miles away from home.

    Keith Fox - February 28th, 2010
    • You do not have to go back to your “home location” if you mis enter your security code. Just turn off the unit then back on and take off your gloves and re enter the code. If it is the correct code the unit lets you in. At least that’s how my Zumo 450 works. BTW, the security location seems to be useless. I am on my bike in the same location (within 5 feet) and still must enter the code. If I put in the wrong code. I have to turn off then on and re enter the code.

      Larry - April 1st, 2010
      • Larry, thanks for that, just tried it and it worked. Why couldn’t it be in the instructions.

        Thanks again, Keith

        Keith - April 7th, 2010
  14. I had my gps stolen # 1gt065765, also my comerciant # 532318-1141.

    ed - March 9th, 2010
    • STOLEN on 4/21/2010 in Chicago
      Product name: StreetPilot® c550
      Serial number: 119322834
      Unit Id: 3385750246

      Radek - April 23rd, 2010
  15. I purchased a garmin 255wt Saturday, June 19th 2010, in Lufkin,TX. This device along with an iPhone 3gs (white) was stolen from my truck in the Ralph & Kacoos parking lot while I was having lunch between 2 & 3 pm, Friday, June 25 2010. I reported this to the police, who requested a serial number for the gps device. I don’t have this written down, and cannot find it in the paperwork. I have all the original packaging, and the receipt for the device as well the “Black Tie” protection plan. Any ideas? Any help will be appreciated.

    Susan - June 25th, 2010
    • If you really purchased it, then all of your serial code information will be on the box of purchase.

      Sha - September 14th, 2010
      • Yes, thank you. I really purchased it. When I contacted Garmin, they confirmed the information was on the box (no idea why Best Buy didn’t know this) & flagged the information in their system as a ‘just in case’. Haven’t heard anything from the police or Garmin, but thanks again.

        Susan - September 14th, 2010
  16. Garmin Lock is a positive move which all gps units sold should have, in time word will get out its not worth anything with out the password, just go on ebay and check out pin locked nuvis for 20 dollars that never sell soon it will be like easypass on the windshield and nobody wants it.

    marco - September 17th, 2010
  17. Is there a phone number to talk to someone in person to report a stolen garmin? I still have the box and receipt. Would the serial number be on either one?

    Terry - November 14th, 2010
  18. I purchased a used Garmin nuvi 205 from an individual on eBay for my son for Christmas. When it is powered up it is asking for a PIN number to be entered. I have contacted the person I purchased it from and to no avail has he responded to my emails. Is this gps useless since I do not have the PIN number? What can I do? Thanks so much for your response.

    Donna - December 30th, 2010
    • Contact Garmin, if this is a stolen unit, maybe they can help get it back to the owner. If it was purchased by the person you bought it from, maybe Garmin can verify the information you have & help you reset the PIN. Sorry you’re having trouble. But I hope the person(s) who stole mine have not been able to use it or profit from the theft by selling it to some unsuspecting buyer!-Susan

      Susan - January 1st, 2011
  19. There is a phone number on the Garmin site that you can talk to a person to report the stolen unit & the serial number is on the outside of the box the gps came in. Good luck!-Susan

    Susan - January 1st, 2011
  20. I have a Garmin and someone put a pin # on it and I can’t get it to work. Can you reset my Garmin? I really miss it since it is not working.

    Celia Lais - July 8th, 2011
    • Celia, we are not affiliated with Garmin. I believe if you contact Garmin tech support they can help you unlock your GPS for a fee. Additionally, the place where the PIN was set is typically setup as the “safe” location where you can unlock it without the PIN. Then you can remove or reset the PIN.

      Tim - July 14th, 2011
  21. Our Garmin nuvi 760 was stolen out of our car in Nashua, NH on July 6, 2011.
    I know we ultimately are responsible – but it would be nice if Garmin and Lojack could work a deal so we could catch the heartless, brainless person who stole something that did not belong to him.

    Warren - July 18th, 2011
  22. The Nuvi 3490LMT, which is due to be released in Q4 2011, will NOT have Garmin Lock. This was excluded as people who lost their PIN complained about the cost to have Garmin unlock the device. This is really silly. Garmin Lock is an OPTION on my Nuvi 660. One needs to ENABLE it. If you don’t think you can remember a PIN, don’t do it. And Garmin, please make it available for those who want it and accept the responsibility associated with it.

    There is not a whole lot one can do to prevent loss or theft. Garmin has a made a serious product mistake by excluding this. If anything, they should have made Garmin Lock tougher to crack by using any keyboard character (upper/lowercase, letters, numbers and/or symbols).

    Chuck - September 13th, 2011
  23. My Garmin Nuvi was stolen from my vehicle. Why can’t Garmin tell me where it is? It is a GPS. When I use it it knows where I am at. I don’t get it.

    Jeff - October 13th, 2011
  24. Garmin is clearly skirting the issue.
    It is quite clear if Garmin wanted to you could track the location of your GPS and find out where it is.

    It is also clear that if they wanted to you could send a lock code to a stolen unit and disable the funtion.

    They have all the serial numbers if a serial number is registered as stolen when connected to the interne site then it should be able to download firmare that locks the GPS and can only be reactivated by registered owner once returned to police.

    There are so many things that can be done to relocate and recover lost and stolen GPS units but Garmin are not serious about the issue and dont care.

    The GPS unit could be tracked or located using smartphone software to find your GPS.

    Garmin are providing token efforts rather than genuine effective preventions and recoverable soultions.

    sb - November 26th, 2011

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