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Tesla Model 3 2017-2022 Owner's Manual: Three Types of Keys

Model 3 supports three types of keys:

Model 3 supports a total of 19 keys, which can include authenticated phones, key cards, and up to four key fobs.

Caution: Remember to bring a key with you when you drive. Although you can drive Model 3 away from its key, you will be unable to power it back on after it powers off.

Authenticated Phone

Using your phone is a convenient way to access your Model 3. As you approach, your phone's Bluetooth signal is detected and doors unlock when you press a door handle.

Likewise, when you exit and walk away with the phone, doors automatically lock (provided the Walk-Away Door Lock feature is turned on, as described in Walk-Away Door Lock)

Before you can use a phone to access Model 3, follow these steps to authenticate it:

  1. Download the Tesla mobile app to your phone.
  2. Log into the Tesla mobile app using your Tesla Account user name and password.

Note: You must remain logged in to your Tesla Account to use your phone to access Model 3.

  1. Ensure that your phone's Bluetooth setting is turned on.

Note: Model 3 communicates with your phone using Bluetooth. To authenticate your phone or use it as a key, the phone must be powered on and Bluetooth must be enabled. Keep in mind that your phone must have enough battery power to run Bluetooth and that many phones disable Bluetooth when the battery is low.

  1. Ensure that Allow Mobile Access (Controls > Safety & Security > Allow Mobile Access) is enabled.
  2. In the Tesla mobile app, touch PHONE KEY then touch START to search for your Model 3. When your Model 3 is detected, the mobile app asks you to tap your key card.
  3. Tap the key card against the Model 3 card reader on the door pillar or center console (see Key Card)

When Model 3 detects your key card, the mobile app confirms that your phone has been successfully authenticated. Touch DONE.

If the key card is not successfully scanned within approximately 30 seconds, the mobile app displays an error message. Touch PHONE KEY on the app again to retry.

To view a list of keys that can currently access Model 3, or to remove a phone, touch Controls > Locks (see Managing Keys)

Note: Authenticating your phone allows you to use it as a key to access Model 3. To use the phone hands-free, access your phone's contacts, play media from it, etc., you must also pair and connect to it using the Bluetooth settings

Note: Model 3 can connect to three phones simultaneously. Therefore, if more than one phone is detected and you want to use, or authenticate, a different phone, move the other connected phone(s) out of range or turn off its Bluetooth setting.

Note: Unlike the mobile app, once a phone has been authenticated, it no longer requires an internet connection to communicate with Model 3. Authenticated phones communicate with Model 3 using Bluetooth.

Note: Although Bluetooth typically communicates over distances of up to approximately 30 feet (9 meters), performance can vary based on the phone you are using, environmental interference, etc.

Note: If multiple vehicles are linked to the Tesla Account, you must switch the mobile app to the vehicle that you want to access before you can use the phone as a key.


Key Card
Tesla provides you with two Model 3 key cards, designed to fit in your wallet. Tap your Model 3 key card on one of its card readers, located on the driver's side door pillar and on the center ...

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