How to Activate a Prepaid Verizon Phone

By Melissa King

Verizon Wireless offers a prepaid service that gives you nationwide coverage without the hassle of a contract, deposit or credit check. To use the service, you purchase credits that are deducted from your account for each minute you talk. Before you start talking, you need to activate your prepaid cellphone. Verizon allows you to activate your service online or directly from your phone.

Activate from Your Phone

Step 1

Remove the phone's battery cover according to the instructions in the user manual. Insert the battery and replace the cover.

Step 2

Charge the phone, if necessary. Connect the phone to the included charger, then connect the charger to an electrical outlet. Some phones also come with a charger that lets you connect the phone to your computer's USB port. Charge the phone for about two hours.

Step 3

Power on the phone, then press "Send" if an activation message displays. Otherwise, dial "*22898," then press "Send."

Step 4

Enter your ZIP code at the prompt. Listen as an automated recording reads you your new phone number. Write it down so you do not forget it.

Step 5

Select your language at the prompt. Listen to the recording that tells you how much prepaid time you have remaining.

Activate from Your Computer

Step 1

Open your phone's battery cover. Remove the battery, if inserted. Write down the MEID or ESN located on the sticker under the battery. Replace the battery and the battery cover.

Step 2

Open your Web browser and go to the Verizon Wireless prepaid phone activation page (link in Resources).

Step 3

Enter your ZIP code, then click "Submit." Click the drop-down menu and select your area code.

Step 4

Enter the phone's MEID or ESN, then click "Continue." Wait a moment as Verizon Wireless generates a new number and activates the phone. Write the number down so you do not forget it.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you receive an error when entering the MEID or ESN, ensure that you aren't typing the letter "O" instead of the number "0." MEID and ESNs never use the letter "O."
  • You don't need to know the MEID or ESN when activating service from your phone.