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How to Use TTY for OnStar

Difficulty Level: Novice  |  Time Required: 10 minutes  |  Tools Required: None  |  Related Parts, Products, Services or Technology: None

A TTY (Text Telephone) is a special device that lets drivers with hearing or speech impairments communicate using text instead of talking and listening. OnStar®† provides access to certain services via TTY, allowing you to communicate with Advisors or access emergency services through text. Depending on your service plan and how your vehicle is equipped, you can use TTY for OnStar Advisor calls and when utilizing emergency services. You’ll have 24/7 connectivity to a dedicated TTY Advisor.

How to Use TTY for OnStar

OnStar offers several ways to get OnStar TTY service via text, depending on the infotainment system in your vehicle:

  • TTY is embedded in select GM infotainment systems and can be turned on in the system’s SETTINGS app
  • For other infotainment systems, OnStar will provide a special TTY device to deliver services (See “Getting Started: TTY Device” below)
  • Regardless of your infotainment system, you can use the OnStar Guardian™† app on your mobile phone to access certain emergency services via TTY (requires eligible service plan)

Getting Started: Embedded TTY

If TTY is embedded in your infotainment system, it has to be enabled in order for you to begin using it. From that point on, the TTY text will be shown on your infotainment system during Advisor calls. On most vehicles, here’s how you can enable TTY (see below for special instructions for vehicles equipped with Google built-in compatibility):

  1. Turn your vehicle ON and keep it in PARK. 
  2. On the infotainment system Home screen, tap the SETTINGS icon.
  3. Select “Apps.”
  4. Scroll down and select “Phone.”
  5. Scroll down and select “TTY.”
  6. Finally, select “Enable OnStar TTY mode.”

 

If your vehicle is equipped with Google built-in compatibility, follow these steps to enable TTY services:

  1. Turn your vehicle ON and keep it in PARK.
  2. On the infotainment system Home screen, tap the SETTINGS icon.
  3. Select “System.”
  4. Select “TTY Mode.”

Getting Started: TTY Device

For infotainment systems that do not support embedded TTY, eligible Members can request TTY equipment through their GM dealer by calling 1.877.248.2080 or by visiting gmfleet.com. With a doctor’s note saying the equipment is medically necessary, there is no charge for the TTY device. This device is manufactured by an independent manufacturer. It will be shipped directly to your home by OnStar.

To begin using it:

  1. Turn your vehicle ON. With your provided TTY device in the vehicle with you, power the device ON.
  2. The device is designed to automatically pair with the vehicle via Bluetooth®†. If it doesn’t, refer to the instructions provided from the manufacturer.
  3. Keep the device in the vehicle, on its charger, at all times, so it is always ready for use.

The device will be set up for your specific vehicle only and will not work in any other.  

Making Calls with TTY

Once you’ve enabled TTY on your infotainment system or paired your dedicated TTY device, you can begin communicating with OnStar Advisors.

Here's how it works:

  1. Your vehicle should be in PARK to place a TTY call.
  2. To contact an OnStar Advisor, press the blue OnStar button in your vehicle. Your call will be transmitted to a specially trained TTY Advisor.
  3. Use the keypad on either your infotainment screen or on your TTY device to type in your message, then tap “end.” Lines of text on the screen allow you to read the conversation.
  4. You can tap "Hearing Mode" to change to a voice conversation.
  5. When your call is complete, tap “End Call.”

For safety reasons, some services are not available when the vehicle is moving.

Using TTY in an Emergency

If you have an eligible service plan, you can utilize TTY services in an emergency situation.

In the event of an emergency, press the red OnStar button to reach a dedicated TTY Advisor. The Advisor will be able to locate your vehicle and find out what type of assistance you need (either by voice or by TTY text). Or, if you're in a crash, your vehicle's built-in sensors can automatically alert an Advisor. Even if you can't answer, the Advisor can contact nearby emergency service providers who can dispatch appropriate medical responders.



Q&As

How can I contact OnStar TTY?

You may call the OnStar toll-free TTY number at 1.877.248.2080 or email .

What do I do if I’m having problems with my OnStar TTY?

If TTY is embedded in your infotainment system, you should contact your GM dealer.

If you have a TTY device, it is manufactured by an independent manufacturer and is covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, not the GM New Vehicle Limited Warranty. Follow the instructions included in the TTY device manufacturer’s manual for reporting difficulties.

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