After someone loses their key, do they issue a new key? I was wondering how the process works because there's no ID proof in the magic world.

What if I go to Gringotts in the form of Harry (using Polyjuice Potion) and demand a duplicate key?

  • I'd say they take you to your vault (providing you know the number) and let the thief's downfall remove the effects of the potion, but was that just added security only implemented in the seventh book? – Mac Cooper Apr 4 '15 at 12:41
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    -10 for trying to steal money from Harry. As if poor chap doesn't already have enough bad things happen to him! – DVK-on-Ahch-To Apr 20 '15 at 19:15

There do seem to be forms of magical identification.

We see at least one example of this when Hermione, posing as Bellatrix Lestrange, asks to be taken to the Lestrange vault. The goblins use her wand as identification:

“Madam Lestrange!” said the goblin, evidently startled. “Dear me! How — how may I help you today?”

“I wish to enter my vault,” said Hermione.

The old goblin seemed to recoil a little. Harry glanced around. Not only was Travers hanging back, watching, but several other goblins had looked up from their work to stare at Hermione.

“You have… identification?” asked the goblin.

“Identification? I — I have never been asked for identification before!” said Hermione. […]

“Your wand will do, madam,” said the goblin.

Deathly Hallows, chapter 26 (Gringotts)

It’s not clear how the wands can be matched to their owners – given their contempt for wizards, I don’t know if the goblins would trust a list of wand owners from Ollivander’s – but the question is asked before there’s (much) suspicion of the trio among the bank staff.

I assume that if you turn up and claim to have lost your key, they’ll take some identification from you. If they’re satisfied that it’s you, they’ll give you a new key, and enchant the lock such that anybody using the old key gets sucked inside. And if somebody brings the old key to the front desk, they can remove it from circulation.

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    I'm not entirely sure but I thought he was asking for the wand because he knew she'd lost it at Malfoy Manor and was checking for an imposter. – Tom Doyle Apr 4 '15 at 14:23
  • @TomDoyle That’s quite possible (especially as she would have been unable to get a new one made). – alexwlchan Apr 4 '15 at 14:42
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    So wizards' wands are basically their SSNs? – user43926 Apr 4 '15 at 15:06
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    @usandfriends The wand chooses the owner, so there is definitely a connection. And wizards can be expected to guard their wands carefully, they're vulnerable without them. – Vixen Populi Apr 5 '15 at 7:54
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    @Vixen Yeah, like Lightsaber is life to a Jedi.. – Umbrella Corporation Apr 5 '15 at 10:50

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