Can You Use an Unlocked Phone With Verizon?

By Josh Moorhead

An unlocked cell phone is a cell phone without a network provider. This means that the phone will not work. Without a provider a cell phone cannot make or receive calls or perform other functions like texting or web surfing. However, an unlocked phone is now eligible to work with any available network provider, including Verizon.


For the unlocked phone to begin working with Verizon, it will need a piece of hardware from Verizon called a SIM card. The SIM card is a memory card and operating chip that is unique to every network. Contact Verizon with the make and model of the unlocked phone to get the corresponding SIM card.


Once a phone is unlocked it won't be allowed to work with other networks without an identification code. This code is called the IMEI code and identifies the individual phone, like a license plate on a car. The code cannot be found on the phone, it must be requested from the phone's original network provider. Contact that provider's customer service to request the code, which sometimes has to be purchased.


After receiving Verizon's SIM card, remove the original SIM card and replace it with Verizon's. The SIM card on most phones can be found near the battery, which is in the back of the phone under a protective casing that is part of the phone's body. Slide that casing off and look for small slot near the battery with a chip in it. That is the SIM card.


After the phone detects it has a new SIM card it will ask for the IMEI code. Enter the IMEI using the phone's dial pad, then the phone will be allowed to work with Verizon as its network provider.


Not all phones will work with other networks. Some phones are exclusive to a single provider, like Apple's iPhone, which only works with AT&T. Other times, using a phone on a new network will work but will affect how the phone works. This is because of the differences in data packages providers offer. Before using the unlocked phone on Verizon, contact Verizon to see how the phone will work on its network.