• Porting a Phone Number to Verizon Wireless

    Porting a phone number to Verizon Wireless is the process of moving the number from the current carrier (losing carrier) to Verizon Wireless (winning carrier). This is not the same thing as call forwarding – where an inbound call is simply forwarded to a different number. With porting, the number becomes part of the winning carrier’s network. Note that the porting of a phone number to Verizon’s landline service is different. For that, please refer to the Porting to Verizon’s Landline Service article.

    IT’S SIMPLE

    • Porting a phone number to a wireless carrier such as Verizon Wireless is the simples of all port types.
    • It requires no paperwork to be submitted as part of the port request.
    • And it takes the lease amount of time – approximately 3 business days.

    SUMMARY:

    • Gather current account information for where the new number is right now.
    • Submit that information to Verizon Wireless. They will submit it to the losing carrier.
    • Wait 3 approximately 3 business days for the number to start working automatically.
    • Reprogram outbound caller ID on your wireless phone handset using your new number.

    GATHER INFORMATION

    • Carrier currently holding the number
    • Account number
    • Account PIN (not the voicemail pin)
    • Name on account
    • Address on account, including zip code
    • Tax ID on the account – only necessary for an ATT Mobility port; T-Mobile does not ask for it.

    Normally only the account number and pin will be required. But, once in in a while the Verizon Wireless rep may ask for the other details mentioned above.

    You do not need to bring in any documentation. Just the information is sufficient.

    REPLACING AN EXISTING PHONE NUMBER

    This is possible. When you get your Verizon Wireless representative in person, tell them you want to port “over top of” your existing number, replacing it with the new one.

    When you get your Verizon Wireless representative in person, tell them you want to port your new number “over top of” of your existing number, thereby replacing it with the new one.

    If you are going to do it over the phone, it is important that you call from a different phone than the one you want to port the number over top of, because at the end of the port submission, they are going to have you program the phone (it’s simple), and that requires the phone to be shut off and turned back on to complete. If you do not have another phone, you should go into a store to have it taken care of there.

    They will sometimes offer to help you to program the target handset at the end of the call. But, if not, you can easily do this by yourself after the call. Or go into the store to submit the port request and execute these steps while there.

    You must have a Verizon Wireless enabled handset in order to perform the port. An unlocked SIM card based smart phone will not be sufficient.

    If you are going to open a new line, you can do it in person or over the phone. They will sometimes offer to help you to program the target handset at the end of the call. But, if not, you can easily do this by yourself after the call. Or go into the store to submit the port request and execute these steps while there.

    OPENING UP A NEW LINE IN AN ACCOUNT OR IN A NEW ACCOUNT

    Call *611 SEND on your Verizon Wireless handset or go into a Verizon Wireless store to initiate the port request.

    You must have a Verizon Wireless enabled handset in order to perform the port. An unlocked SIM card based smart phone will not be sufficient.

    If you are calling Verizon Wireless, and you have a second handset, it will be more convenient to call from the second handset since you can’t program a phone at the same time you are talking on it. They will sometimes offer to help you to program the target handset at the end of the call. But, if not, you can easily do this by yourself after the call. Or go into the store to submit the port request and execute these steps while there.

    SUBMIT INFORMATION TO VERIZON WIRELESS

    Call *611 SEND on your Verizon Wireless handset or go into a Verizon Wireless store to initiate the port request.

    You must have a Verizon Wireless enabled handset in order to perform the port. An unlocked SIM card based smart phone will not be sufficient.

    If you are calling Verizon Wireless, and you have a second handset, it will be more convenient to call from the second handset since you can’t program a phone at the same time you are talking on it. They will sometimes offer to help you to program the target handset at the end of the call. But, if not, you can easily do this by yourself after the call. Or go into the store to submit the port request and execute these steps while there.

    NEW LINE OR EXISTING LINE?

    The Verizon Wireless representative will ask you if you want to port your new number to an existing Verizon Wireless line (i.e., replace an existing phone number) or to a new line. If it is to a new line, you will need to have a new line added to your Verizon Wireless account first. Verizon Wireless may provide you with a temporary number just for this purpose. The temporary number will be replaced by your new number when the porting process completes. It does not matter which area code the temporary number is in.

    If you are porting your new number to an existing line, you will be porting the new number “over top of” the existing number – which means you will lose the old/current number permanently. So if you need to keep the old number, then open a new line for the new number. You may want to consider using call forwarding from the old number to the new number so you don’t miss any calls.

    FEES

    Verizon Wireless does not charge a fee for porting a new number in.

    If you are porting your new number over top of an existing one, your existing 2 year contract period will not be restarted. So if you have, for example, 5 months left on your contract, only the 5 months will be left on the line after your port request goes through. But confirm this with your representative just to make sure a mistake is not made.

    PROGRAMMING YOUR PHONE

    Your phone will now need to be reprogrammed.

    Reprogramming, in this case, means that your new number will be transmitted to the receiving party’s phone handset on their caller ID.

    However, this is NOT the same thing as the port itself. It is merely programming the phone handset. A port requires the cooperation of both the losing carrier and the winning carrier. Which takes time. A reprogramming, however, is a Verizon Wireless function alone and is specific to the particular handset you are using.

    To program your handset, you or your Verizon Wireless representative will simply dial *228 SEND. Select Option 1 and wait for your new phone number to reboot.

    If you make any outbound calls before your number ports through, the receiving party will see your new number, not your temporary number. This does NOT mean that your number has been ported.

    WAITING FOR THE PROCESS TO COMPLETE

    If your number is being ported from another wireless carrier, the acknowledgement and approval of the port request by the losing carrier can usually be instantaneous.

    That is because the FCC has allowed automated porting systems between carriers.

    Hence, a wireless-to-wireless port will normally take less than 24 hours to complete, including over the weekends. However, it might take only 5-10 minutes.

    If your number is being ported from a landline or VOIP carrier this will normally take about 3-4 business days (not calendar days).

    This is because landline/VOIP carrier port-out departments do not work weekends, and their porting systems are not automated to the same degree that wireless carrier porting departments are.

    A Verizon Wireless representative may incorrectly estimate that the port will take 24 hours or less if they are not familiar with landline/VOIP ports.

    Conversely, a representative may tell you that the port may take 5 days, 10 days or even 15 days. This may be incorrect as well. The representatives may simply want to overestimate the port times so that they do not falsely set your expectations to the short side.

    FIRM ORDER COMMITMENT (FOC) DATE

    If the losing carrier is a landline or VOIP carrier, you can contact Verizon Wireless after one to two business days (not calendar days) to get an FOC date. The FOC date is the port date that the losing carrier has scheduled your number to port to Verizon Wireless. (They are also given the planned time of day for the port, however you will rarely be offered that information).

    ONCE THE PORT IS COMPLETED

    Your new number will automatically start to work on your handset once the port has completed.

    You will normally get a text message from Verizon Wireless to let you know that the port request is complete and the number is now functioning on the new handset.

    However, be aware that, even then, it is not guaranteed to be fully functioning properly; this can take another day or two as explained in the next point.

    DUAL/MIXED SERVICE

    This is something Verizon Wireless rarely tells you but is important. Sometimes during the 24-48 hour period after a port is “complete” some inbound calls may still get routed to the losing carrier even while outbound calls will be functioning normally. This period is called a Dual Service or Mixed Service period. It can happen because it may take a day or two for all of the primary switches in the telephone network to be reset so that all inbound calls get routed to the correct carrier and handset. This rarely happens, but, unfortunately, it can happen while the change works its way through the multiplicity of carrier systems involved. There is no benefit to contacting Verizon Wireless about this problem unless it lasts for longer than 2 days.

    TEXT MESSAGING

    Text messaging capabilities can sometimes take up to 3 business days to begin functioning normally.

    USEFUL CONTACT INFORMATION

    *611 SEND may be used to reach Verizon Wireless customer service department from your Verizon Wireless phone. It will normally work even when you do not have an active number on it. However, calling this number or their general customer service toll free number can get you lost endlessly in their automated option selection tree. So it will usually be quicker to call the Verizon Wireless porting department at 800 844 7095. They sometimes change this number, but you will normally get someone at Verizon Wireless even if the number is old.

    To check to see whether a number is eligible to be ported into your Verizon Wireless service, go the following link: http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/support/switch-to-verizon

    The same link can provide you with the status of a port request. If it has been approved, it will not give you the FOC date, but at least it will tell you whether there is a problem with the port request. To get the FOC date, you will still need to call the porting department.

    Sometimes Verizon provides conflicting information on the two menu options at that link. Try each to get the most complete answer.