Use your iPhone or Apple Watch as a car key

 Learn how to add car keys to Apple Wallet, and how to use your iPhone or Apple Watch to unlock and start your car.

Some car makers offer the option to control your vehicle with a digital car key. If your car is compatible, you can add this key to the Wallet app on your iPhone.

With car keys in Wallet, you can use your iPhone or Apple Watch to unlock your car, and start it, by placing your device near specific locations. You can also use the Wallet app to share your car key with other people.

What you need

To find out if your car is compatible with Apple Wallet, contact the car's manufacturer or your dealership.

You can add car keys to the following iPhone models if they have iOS 13.6 or later:

  • iPhone SE (2nd generation)
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11
     
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
     

Find out how to identify your iPhone model and update your software.

To use Apple Watch as a car key, you need Apple Watch Series 5 with watchOS 6.2.8 or later.

These requirements also apply:

  • You must be the owner of the account provided by your car's manufacturer, and your car must be connected to the account. Your car's manufacturer or dealership can help you with this.
  • You need to be signed in on your iPhone using your Apple ID.
  • Your iPhone must be passcode-protected so that you can authenticate using Face ID or Touch ID, or by entering the passcode.

How to add car keys to Apple Wallet on your iPhone

  1. Make sure that your car is associated with the account provided by the car's manufacturer. 
  2. Open the car manufacturer's app and follow the instructions to set up a key. The app then sends you to Apple Wallet.
  3. Tap Continue.
  4. Place your iPhone on the key reader as indicated in the onscreen instructions, then wait for your iPhone and car to pair.
  5. Tap Done.

Depending on your vehicle, you might be able to add car keys using two other methods: following a link that your car maker emails to you, or following steps in your vehicle's information display.

Add keys from email

When you add your car to the account that's provided by its manufacturer, you receive an email that will help you begin the car key process. Tap the link in the email, then follow steps 3–5 from above in the Wallet app.

Add keys using your car's information display

Navigate to the key section of your car's information display, then follow the onscreen instructions. When prompted, follow steps 3–5 from above in the Wallet app.

If you get a new iPhone—or if you reset your current iPhone—you must set up car keys in Wallet again using one of the above methods.

How to add car keys to your Apple Watch

  1. Follow the steps to set up car keys in the Wallet app on your iPhone. If you have an Apple Watch that's paired to your iPhone, the Wallet app asks if you want to add the car key to your Watch.
  2. Tap Add Now.
  3. Confirm that you want to add the car key to your Apple Watch by double-clicking the side button on your iPhone.

You can also add car keys later:

  1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. In the My Watch tab, scroll down and tap Wallet & Apple Pay.
  3. Tap Add next to the card for your car key.

Control your car with your Apple device

After you set up your car key in Wallet, hold your iPhone or Apple Watch near the car's door handle. With Express Mode turned on, your car door unlocks automatically. If you're leaving your car, you can hold your Apple device near the door handle to lock it.

To start your car, place your iPhone in the car's key reader, or hold your Apple Watch near the reader. Then press the car's start button.

Use Express Mode

With Express Mode, you can hold your Apple device near your car door handle to open it automatically, or place it in the car's key reader to allow you to start the vehicle quickly. Express Mode is turned on by default on your iPhone and Apple Watch when you add a car key to Wallet.

You can turn off Express Mode:

  1. Open the Wallet app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the card for your car key.
  3. Tap the More button .
  4. Turn off Express Mode.

If you turn off Express Mode, you must authenticate each time you want to use your Apple device as a car key:

  • On your iPhone, open the Wallet app and tap the card for your car key. Hold your iPhone near the car's door handle or key reader, then use your passcode, Face ID, or Touch ID to proceed.
  • On your Apple Watch, double-click the side button to access your cards. Tap the card for your car key, then hold your watch near the car's door handle or key reader.

If your iPhone needs to be charged

You can use your iPhone to unlock and start your car even if your iPhone needs to be charged.

When your iPhone battery is very low, it enters power reserve mode. With Express Mode on, you can use your car keys for up to five hours after your iPhone goes into power reserve.

Press the side button on your iPhone to see if car keys are available.

How to share your car key with someone else

  1. Open the Wallet app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the card for your car key.
  3. Tap the More button .
  4. Tap Invite.
  5. Tap Set Access, then select the level of restrictions that you want to place on the shared car key.
  6. Tap Invite. A new message appears.
  7. Begin typing a person's name in the message's To field, then tap their name when it appears. If the recipient isn't in your contacts, you can type a phone number.
  8. Tap the Send button .

Car key sharing invitations can be sent only via iMessage. The person you share a car key with must have a compatible iPhone, and they need to be signed in with their Apple ID. They also need to have a passcode turned on.

When your recipient taps on the invitation on their iPhone or Apple Watch, the Wallet app opens and tells them how to add and use the car key.

Your car's manufacturer might limit the number of people you can share a key with.

Delete or revoke a car key

You can delete the car key from your Apple devices:

  1. Open the Wallet app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the card for your car key.
  3. Tap the More button .
  4. Tap Remove This Car Key.
  5. Tap Remove to confirm.

You can also revoke access to a car key that you've shared:

  1. Open the Wallet app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the card for your car key.
  3. Tap the More button .
  4. Tap the name of a person you've shared the car key with.
  5. Tap Revoke Access. The person receives a notification telling them that the car key has been revoked.

If you lose your Apple device

If you think your iPhone or Apple Watch has been lost or stolen, you can use iCloud.com or the Find My app on another Apple device to keep your car key information safe.

Learn what to do if your iPhone is lost or stolen, or if your Apple Watch is lost or stolen.

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