As of 2015, anyone can program a transponder as long as the code for the specific vehicle is utilized. It is necessary for the key blank to be compatible with the vehicle too.
Transponder keys have chips embedded in them that correspond to a vehicle's ignition system. The transponder must be within a certain range of the car for the vehicle to start. Almost every key made during or after the 1990s contains a transponder chip. This was a security measure taken by auto manufacturers to make stealing cars more difficult. Replacing a lost or stolen key with a transponder chip can be costly.