New Owner Frequently Asked Questions

Receiving Your Tesla

Where is my signed Motor Vehicle Purchase Agreement (MVPA)?

Your final documents can be viewed in your Tesla Account. Log in to your Tesla Account then select ‘Manage’. On the right side of the page there is a ‘Documents’ section where you can view your Motor Vehicle Purchase Agreement and Lemon Law Disclosure. All final documents like your signed contract will be available on your Tesla Account immediately after your car is delivered.

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How do I get my HOV decals (California residents)?

Your Tesla qualifies for red, clean air vehicle decals. Once you receive your license plate number, fill out the online application and submit it to the address on the application, along with a check payable to the DMV. Find more information on the HOV decals.

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How do I pay for my loan through Tesla Lending?

Within 2-3 weeks after your car has been delivered, you will receive additional information, by mail, from the bank that is financing your loan. This will include instructions specific to that bank on how to set up your payments, which will be made directly to the bank financing your loan. If you are applying for Tesla Lending, this should be done within 30 days of scheduled delivery date. For any questions, contact a member of our Financial Services team directly at

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How do I add another contact to my account?

A secondary contact can be added to your car’s account by logging into your Tesla Account and clicking on "Account" in the upper right corner. Then select "Personal Information" and click on "Contact." There you can add a secondary contact to your account.

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How do I apply for the Federal Tax Credit?

The US Government offers a federal tax credit up to $3,750 with the purchase of a new Tesla acquired for personal use. Include IRS Form 8936 when you file your taxes. If you have leased your vehicle, the tax credit has already been applied to the residual value of your vehicle, lowering your depreciation paid and reducing your monthly payment. Please contact a tax professional if you need assistance completing the tax credit form.

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I am a California resident. How do I apply for the California Clean Vehicle Rebate?

If you are a resident of California and register your Tesla in California, you may be eligible for a rebate from the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP). To apply, submit an online application. You will receive a confirmation email from CVRP with your application, which you should print and sign. Submit the signed application and supporting documents received during your delivery appointment to the CVRP through their website or by email ( Eligibility and rebate amount is subject to applicant income and vehicle order date. Please contact your Delivery Experience Specialist if any additional documents are requested.

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Tesla App

When will app access be granted?

Owners will receive access to the Tesla App within 48 hours after delivery. For another user other than the owner, it will take 3-5 business days to process once your request has been sent. You will be notified by email or text when app access has been granted.

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How do I enable app access for my family?

To give someone in your family access to your Tesla Mobile App, you need to send us written approval. This can be done by sending an email to Provide the first and last name of the person, email address they want to use to access the Tesla App, phone number and mailing address, stating that you wish to authorize access to the app.

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How do I use the mobile app?

The Tesla mobile app for iPhone or Android enables you to remotely monitor and control your Tesla car or Powerwall from your phone. After downloading and installing the application, use your Tesla account email address and password to connect to your vehicle or Powerwall. To learn more about the app, view the following instructional video: Tesla Mobile App Walkthrough. For additional information, review the mobile app section in the Owner’s Manual.

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Why can’t I access the Tesla Mobile App after delivery?

It can take up to 48 hours after delivery for app access to be granted. If you want to know more about how the app works visit the Tesla App Support page. While you are waiting for Tesla App access, you can use the Key Fob (Model S and Model X) or Key Card (Model 3) to control your Tesla.

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Get to Know Your Tesla

How do I set up my driver profile?

Your car will prompt you to create and save a driver profile when you first adjust the driver's seat, steering wheel, or side mirror. To access or create a driver profile at a later date:

  1. Tap the 'Driver Profile' icon located at the top of your touchscreen.
  2. Tap 'Add New Driver,' type in the desired name and tap 'Create Profile.'
  3. Adjust your seat, mirrors, steering wheel and more to your comfort, and select save.

You can save up to 10 different driver profiles to your car.

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How do I program HomeLink?

HomeLink is a feature of your new Tesla which will automatically open your garage door when you arrive home or when using the summon feature. To program HomeLink, tap the HomeLink icon at the top of your touchscreen and follow the step-by-step instructions. You’ll need the remote control with you and be parked in front of the garage or gate you wish to program.

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How do I pair my phone using Bluetooth?

Follow these steps to pair your phone with your Tesla:

  1. Ensure both the touchscreen and the phone are powered on.
  2. On the touchscreen’s status bar, tap the Bluetooth icon.
  3. On your phone, enable Bluetooth and set it to discoverable.
  4. On the car touchscreen, touch Start Search. The touchscreen searches then displays the list of all available Bluetooth devices within operating distance.
  5. On the car touchscreen, touch the phone with which you want to pair. Within a few seconds, the touchscreen displays a randomly generated number and your phone should display the same number.
  6. Check that the number displayed on your phone matches the number displayed on the touchscreen. Then, on your phone, confirm that you want to pair.

Your car automatically connects to the phone and the touchscreen displays the Bluetooth symbol next to the phone’s name to show that the connection is active after pairing is complete.

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How do I change the displays on the instrument panel?

Press and hold a scroll wheel until options are displayed on the same side of the instrument cluster as the scroll wheel. Roll the scroll wheel to select the option you want, then press on the scroll wheel to select.

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How do I learn more about the features of my Tesla?

To learn about the features in your new Tesla, you can access your Tesla Owner's Manual by logging into your Tesla Account. For Model S and Model X, you can access the Owner's Manual on your car touchscreen by tapping Controls > Settings > Owner’s Manual; for Model 3, you can access the Owner's Manual on your car touchscreen by tapping Controls > Service > Owner’s Manual.

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How does voice command work?

You can use voice command to call a contact, navigate to a location or listen to music. Your car must be connected to the internet for voice command to work.

For Model S and Model X owners, you can initiate this function by tapping the voice button on the top right of your steering wheel. When you hear the tone, speak your command.

For Model 3 owners, you can use voice command by tapping the microphone button on your touchscreen or by pressing the right scroll button.

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What do the scroll wheels on my steering wheel do?

You can use the scroll wheels on your car to adjust the volume, control the climate, adjust the sunroof, go through your recent contacts, adjust the brightness on the instrument cluster (Model S and Model X) and adjust mirrors (Model 3) and more. For full details, reference your Owner’s Manual.

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What is Range Mode?

Range Mode conserves energy by limiting the power of the climate control system. When this mode is on, less energy will be used when heating or cooling the cabin. When turned on in an All-Wheel Drive car, torque distribution between the motors is optimized to maximize range. You can turn on this setting through Controls > Driving > Range Mode.

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How can I monitor my energy usage?

The Energy app allows you to view the energy consumption of your car in real time. When there is an active navigation route, touch the ‘Trips’ tab in ‘Controls’ on your car touchscreen to view the projected energy consumption for your journey.

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What does the energy saving setting do?

The energy saving feature in Model S and Model X reduces the amount of energy that is consumed when your car is not in use. This is useful when you leave your car for an extended period of time.

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What is the difference between Ideal and Rated range?

Your car has two settings for displayed range:

  • Ideal: based on the ideal conditions (optimal ambient temperature, speed and terrain)
  • Rated: based on personalized city and freeway driving cycles as specified by EPA

Your Tesla will keep track of your driving habits and adjust the range accordingly.

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What is Valet Mode?

Valet Mode is useful when using valet services, or any other time where you may want to limit access or features of your car. Activate Valet Mode through the driver profile icon on the touchscreen, or use your Tesla mobile app.

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Can I turn off the touchscreen?

There is no way to completely turn off the touchscreen, but you can adjust the brightness and Day/Night setting in Controls >Display.

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How do I navigate the touchscreen?

The features and information you need to drive your Tesla are displayed on the touchscreen. The touchscreen is used to control many features that, in traditional cars, are controlled using physical buttons (for example, adjusting heating and air conditioning, headlights, etc.). You can also use the touchscreen to customize your car to suit your preferences. For Model 3, the touchscreen displays driving-related information such as driving speed, vehicle range, warnings, etc.

You can find more detailed information in the Owner’s Manual.

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Traveling With Your Tesla

How do I turn my car on and off?

In Model S and Model X, you can start your Tesla by pressing on the brake pedal and putting into gear. In Model 3, place your key card on the console and put the car into gear. You can turn off your Tesla by putting the car in park, exiting the car and closing the door behind you, or on your touchscreen through Controls > E-Brake & Power Off > Power Off.

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What should I know about traveling in my Tesla?

Check out these Tesla travel tips to learn more about how to maximize your range, plan a road trip and how to charge your Tesla on the go.

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How do I operate the charge port?

Whether you are charging where you park, upon arrival, or on the road, push the button on the mobile connector to open your charge port. You can also open the charge port by pressing on the port cover when your car is unlocked. White color indicator means your car is ready for charging. After plugging in, a blue color indicator means your car is preparing to charge. When the indicator turns green, charging is in-progress.

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How do I activate Summon?

Summon is an autopilot feature that opens your garage door to enter or exit, park and shut down. This eliminates the need to squeeze in and out of tight parking spaces. Enable Summon on the touchscreen through Controls > Settings >Driver Assistance > Summon > ON. For thorough instructions, we encourage all new owners to review the Driver Assistance section in the owner’s manual. Learn more about using Summon in your Tesla.

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What are Autopilot / Enhanced Autopilot and how do I operate?

All new Tesla cars come standard with the most advanced driver assistance capabilities, designed to provide enhanced safety and convenience for a stress-free driving experience. These include emergency braking, front collision warning and side collision warning. Learn more about Tesla Autopilot. If equipped with Enhanced Autopilot, your Tesla will match speed to traffic conditions, keep within a lane, automatically change lanes without requiring driver input, transition from one freeway to another, exit the freeway when your destination is near, self-park when near a parking spot and be summoned to and from your garage. To engage traffic-aware cruise control in Model S or Model X, set cruising speed by moving the cruise control lever up or down when driving at your desired speed. To initiate Autosteer, pull cruise control lever toward you twice in quick succession. To engage traffic-aware cruise control in Model 3, set cruising speed by moving the gear lever fully down and then releasing when driving at your desired speed. To initiate Autosteer, move the gear lever fully down twice in quick succession.

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How does Automatic Emergency Braking work?

If your car is equipped with Autopilot hardware, Automatic Emergency Braking automatically applies full braking in situations where a collision is considered imminent by the forward-looking camera and the radar sensor.
To cancel Automatic Emergency Braking while it is engaged, press on either the accelerator or the brake pedal. It is your responsibility to drive safely and remain in control of your Tesla at all times.

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What should I know about driving in cold weather?

Both cold weather and a 100 percent battery charge contribute to limiting the effect of regenerative braking. You can prep your Tesla for cold temperatures from your mobile app or car touchscreen. Follow these best practices for improving your car’s performance in cold weather:

  • Precondition your car from your Tesla app for about one hour to heat your battery before driving, especially in near freezing temperatures.
  • Charge your car while preconditioning to reduce the amount of energy loss from your battery pack.
  • Turn off Range Mode to avoid limiting the power available to precondition your car, even when charging.
  • In temperatures below 40° F (4° C), use washer fluid with antifreeze. Not using antifreeze can impair visibility through the windshield.

Learn more about preconditioning your Tesla.

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Where should I place a transponder / toll pass?

Tesla recommends placing transponders and toll passes in the following locations to ensure best results and minimize any obstruction to your driving view:

  • Model S: against the windshield just to the right of the sensor housing above the rear-view mirror.
  • Model X: anywhere in the upper shaded half of the windshield.
  • Model 3: on the right side of the rear-view mirror.

Note: You can also attached a weather-proof transponder to the front license plate.

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What If I lose my keys?

You can use your Tesla mobile app to remotely start your car if you lose all of your Key Fobs and Key Cards. Replacement Key Fobs and Key Cards can also be paired to your car at your preferred Service Center.

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What if I get locked out of my car?

You can unlock your car using the Tesla mobile app if you are in an area with cellular connectivity.

If this option is unavailable, Tesla Roadside Support can provide lockout assistance.

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Maintaining my Tesla

How do I get software updates and how long do they take?

You don’t have to worry about how to get a Tesla software update. Tesla cars automatically receive software updates that add new features. You can install updates immediately or later through your touchscreen as they become available. Installing an update can take as many as two hours, depending on the strength of the connection and the size of the update, but connecting your car to a strong Wi-Fi network ensures the quickest download time.

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Can I drive my car during a software update?

Software updates prevent your car from driving as a safety measure. We recommend scheduling update installations when your Tesla is not needed.

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What kind of regular maintenance can I expect with my new Tesla?

Your vehicle has been engineered to monitor consumption and wear-and-tear of serviceable components thus reducing the number of components requiring regularly scheduled maintenance or inspection. Currently only three items have scheduled maintenance intervals: tire rotation, brake fluid replacement and battery coolant replacement. Your vehicle is designed to inform you when service is required for all other items and you can now schedule via your Tesla Account. Please refer to the Owner’s Manual for recommendations including daily and monthly checks that you can perform yourself.

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Where can I get my car repaired?

Visit Tesla Service to learn more about over-the-air updates and remote diagnostics. If you need to make an appointment to visit your local Service Center for maintenance or minor repairs such as small dents, scrapes, or scratches, you can now schedule an appointment in your Tesla Account. Learn more about your Service Visits.

More extensive body repair or structural repairs are best addressed at full-service Tesla Body Shops or shops in the Tesla-Approved Body Repair Network. Please visit Tesla Body Shop Support to find Tesla approved body shops near you and information on how to contact a member of our Body Shop Customer Advocate team.

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How do I tow my car?

Provide your towing operator with the towing guide in your glove compartment. You may also call the Roadside Assistance number (877-798-3752) for emergency assistance with proper towing procedures depending on your particular situation. Learn more about Tesla’s Roadside Assistance Policy.

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What is covered under Roadside Assistance?

Roadside Assistance is available 24/7/365 during the first four years, or 50,000 miles for cars covered by the New Vehicle Limited Warranty. Learn more about what's included in Tesla’s Roadside Assistance Policy.

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Where can I purchase accessories for my Tesla?

You can visit the official Tesla shop to purchase items like Wall Connectors, charging adapters, roof sunshades, trunk organizers, pedals, car covers and more.

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