Use your iPhone or Apple Watch as a car key

 Learn how to add car keys to the Wallet app, use your iPhone or Apple Watch to unlock and start your car, and share your car key with other people.

If your car is compatible, you can add a car key to the Wallet app on your iPhone.

What you need to add a car key to the Wallet app

How to add car keys to the Wallet app 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.
  3. When the app sends you to the Wallet app, tap Continue.
  4. Place your iPhone on the key reader as shown 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 from a link that your car maker sends to you in an email or text message, or by following steps on your car's information display:

Add car keys from an 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 car 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 reset your current iPhone, you must set up car keys in the Wallet app again.

How to add car keys to your Apple Watch

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

Unlock or start your car with your Apple device

To unlock your car, hold your iPhone or Apple Watch near the car's door handle.

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 to quickly unlock or start your car

Express Mode is turned on by default when you add a car key to the Wallet app. It lets you automatically unlock your car door and allows you to quickly start the vehicle. If you leave your car, hold your Apple device near the door handle to lock it.

To 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 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

If your iPhone needs to be charged, you can still use it to unlock and start your car.

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.

To see if car keys are available, press the side button on your iPhone.

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 only be sent 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

To 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.

To 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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