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How to Lock or Unlock Your Tesla with a Key Card

Tesla Key Card

By: Otaiba Ahsan

Something unique about the Tesla ownership experience is the different key options. Most people opt to use their phone as their primary key. While this is the most convenient option, there may be times when you don’t have access to your mobile device. That’s where your trusty key card comes into play. Continue reading for steps on how to lock or unlock your Tesla with a Key Card.

Key Card

Whether you’re grabbing a Tesla used or new, you should receive two key cards when you pick up the car. These cards can communicate with your vehicle using short-range radiofrequency (RFID) signals.

NOTE: The Key Cards don’t require any technology or Bluetooth connections. They’re often compared to a regular key fob you would receive with the purchase of any other gas-powered or electric vehicle (EV).

You can unlock the car and begin driving using a Key Card in just a few short steps:

  1. Tap Below the Camera: When you approach your Tesla, tap the card below the camera on the driver-side door. You’ll hear the car’s chime indicating that the vehicle has been unlocked.
  2. Place the Key Card Down: If a phone key isn’t detected, you’ll need to place the Key Card in a designated spot to be able to drive. Depending on which Tesla you have, you’ll either have to place the card in the wireless charging area or on the center console.
  3. Hit the Brake to Check: Once the card has been placed, hit the brake. If you hear the normal chime, you know that you’re good to drive. However, if you see on-screen a message saying that you need to place the Key Card in a certain spot, then you’ll have to make the simple adjustment.

TIP: Key Cards don’t support automatic locking, so be sure to tap on the door in the same place when you’re leaving so that your car is secure. Always keep a copy of the card in your wallet in case you ever need it.

Other Key Options

There are two other popular key options, which include:

  1. Key Fob: This fob helps mimic the traditional key experience, and you can purchase one from Tesla’s site. It allows you to press buttons to open the front and rear trunks and to lock or unlock your vehicle.
  2. Phone Key: The most popular and convenient choice for Tesla owners. See our guide on how to set up your phone key for more details.

The Bottom Line

The steps on how to lock or unlock your Tesla with a Key Card are easy. Simply walk up to your car and tap underneath the camera on the driver-side door. You’ll hear a chime indicating that the vehicle has unlocked. Be sure to tap this location again when you leave the car, as Tesla doesn’t currently support automatic locking for Key Cards.

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