How to Activate OnStar

by Meaghan Ellis

OnStar is an in-vehicle, hands-free navigation, security and communication system. Utilized by more than five million vehicle owners in the United States, the General Motors manufactured system relies on CDMA cellular services to allow voice and data communication to work effectively within the vehicle. The voice and data communication capabilities also assist with OnStar activation. While new vehicles come with OnStar pre-activated, all used vehicles require manual activation. Luckily, OnStar is not difficult to activate from the vehicle itself or by phone.

Locate the OnStar menu bar inside the vehicle.

Press the blue "OnStar" button on the menu bar. This action will redirect you to a live OnStar agent. (Agents are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.)

Inform the OnStar live agent that you would like to activate the OnStar service for your vehicle. The agent will then ask you a series of questions regarding the vehicle and your personal contact information.

Allow the OnStar live agent to complete the internal activation for your vehicle. Do not disconnect from the agent during this time. Once the activation is complete, the OnStar agent will inform you, and assist you in testing the service.


  • check You may be eligible for OnStar savings and perks. In most cases, a 6-month trial period of the OnStar Safe and Sound Service is available. Be sure to inquire about this trial when talking with the OnStar agent.
  • check OnStar activation can also be conducted by phone at 1 (888) 466-7827.

About the Author

Meaghan Ellis has been writing short stories, newspaper articles, Web content and product research reports for over 12 years. While double majoring in business management and marketing at Southern University, she runs a home-based graphic design and Web content business.