Tesla Vehicle Keys

Your vehicle supports three types of keys: phone key, key cards and key fobs. Extra backup key cards and key fobs can be purchased from the Tesla Shop. Your phone serves as your primary key through a Bluetooth connection with your vehicle.

Note: 2012-2020 Model S and 2015-2020 Model X do not support phone key. These vehicles require an internet connection to use remote start.

Tesla Vehicle Key Features

Walk-Away Door Lock

Walk-Away Door Lock automatically locks your vehicle’s doors and trunk when you walk away while carrying your phone key or key fob. To turn this feature on or off, touch ‘Controls’ > ‘Locks’ > ‘Walk-Away Door Lock’ on your vehicle’s touchscreen.

Drive Away Locking

Drive Away Locking automatically locks all doors and the trunk when your driving speed exceeds 8 km/h.

Driver Door Unlock Mode

Driver Door Unlock Mode only unlocks the driver door when you approach the driver’s side of the vehicle. To turn this feature on or off, touch ‘Controls’ > ‘Locks’ > ‘Driver Door Unlock Mode’ on your vehicle’s touchscreen.

Car Left Open Notifications

Car Left Open Notifications send a notification in the Tesla app when your door, trunk or window is left open or if the vehicle is left unlocked. To turn this feature on or off, touch ‘Controls’ > ‘Locks’ > ‘Car Left Open Notifications’ on your vehicle’s touchscreen.

Child Locks

Child Locks lock the rear doors to prevent them from being opened using the interior release buttons. To turn this feature on or off, touch ‘Controls’ > ‘Locks’ > ‘Child Lock’ on your vehicle’s touchscreen.

Unlock on Park

Unlock on Park will unlock your vehicle doors when you engage Park. To turn this feature on or off, touch ‘Controls’ > ‘Locks’ > ‘Unlock on Park’ on your vehicle’s touchscreen.

Remote Start

Remote Start allows you to start your vehicle using the Tesla app. To use this feature, tap ‘Controls’ > ‘Start’ in the Tesla app.

Phone Key

Setting Up a Phone Key

In most Tesla vehicles, your phone serves as your primary key. Set up your phone key to access all the driver and vehicle control features in the Tesla app.

To set up your phone key, download the latest version of the Tesla app and enable Bluetooth on your mobile device. After enabling Bluetooth, follow these steps while standing near your vehicle:

  1. Open the Tesla app.
  2. Select your vehicle.
  3. Next to ‘Phone Key,’ tap the ‘Set Up’ button.

If automatic phone key setup is unsuccessful, you may be too far away from your vehicle. Alternatively, the Tesla app will instruct you on how to complete the setup using your backup key card.

When setting up phone key, you can choose to have the phone key unlock all vehicle doors or just the driver’s door.

Note: Make sure you have the latest version of the Tesla app by updating the Tesla app on your mobile device.

Troubleshooting a Phone Key

If your phone key is not working as expected, confirm the following:

  • You have no third-party Tesla vehicle apps on your phone.
  • Your phone’s location services are set to ‘always on.’
  • The Tesla app is not set to sleep or low power mode.
  • You have the latest version of the Tesla app.
  • You are signed in using your Tesla Account and you are the owner or driver of that vehicle.
  • Your phone’s Bluetooth is turned on and you are not using any power-saving mode.
  • You’ve enabled Allow Mobile Access on the vehicle touchscreen by tapping ‘Controls’ > ‘Safety’ > ‘Allow Mobile Access.’

For optimal performance, hold your phone in your hand as you approach or leave the vehicle. Some clothing or bags can interrupt or block your Bluetooth connection.

If your phone key is set up correctly but not unlocking your vehicle as you approach, you can still access the vehicle by manually unlocking and starting the vehicle with the Tesla app. If the issue persists, use your phone to uninstall and reinstall the Tesla app.

Note: Leaving your phone in your vehicle while parked will prevent your doors from locking. If you need to leave your phone in your vehicle and lock the doors, you will need to turn off your phone’s Bluetooth before locking the vehicle.

Key Card

Setting Up a Key Card

To set up a new key card, follow these steps:

  1. On the touchscreen, touch ‘Controls’ > ‘Locks’ > ‘Keys’ > ‘Add Key.’
  2. Scan your new key card on the reader.
    • For Model S, Model X and Cybertruck, place the key card at the top of the left phone charger against the center divider, point the front of the card down and swipe downwards.
    • For Model 3 and Model Y, place the key card on top of the center console behind the cup holders. Remove the key card once it has been scanned.
  3. Scan a key card or key fob that has already been paired to the vehicle to confirm new key pairing.

When complete, the key list includes the new key. Tap the associated pencil icon to customize the name of the key.

Key Fob

Setting Up a Key Fob

To set up a new key fob, follow these steps:

  1. On the touchscreen, tap ‘Controls’ > ‘Locks’ > ‘Keys’ > ‘Add Key.’
  2. Scan your new key fob on the reader.
    • For Model S and Model X, place the key fob at the top of the left phone charger against the center divider, point the front of the key fob down and swipe downwards.
    • For Model 3 and Model Y, place the key fob on top of the center console behind the cup holders. Remove the key fob once it has been scanned.
  3. Scan a key card or key fob that has already been paired to the vehicle to confirm new key pairing.

When complete, the key list includes the new key. Tap the associated pencil icon to customize the name of the key.

Removing a Key

When you no longer want a key to access your vehicle and would like to remove its access, follow these steps:

  1. On the touchscreen, tap ‘Controls’ > ‘Locks.’
  2. In the key list, find the key that you would like to delete and tap the trash icon.
  3. When prompted, scan an authenticated key on the card reader to confirm the deletion.

When complete, the key list will no longer include the deleted key.