How to Activate a TracFone When a Different SIM Card Is Rejected

By Jade Blue

A TracFone is a popular, inexpensive way to use a cell phone. The prepaid phones are purchased in bundles which include the handset, promotional minutes and a subscriber identity module, or SIM card. A SIM card identifies you on the cellular company network. SIM cards assign your cell number and allow your phone to make and receive calls. Other cellular companies allow you to switch SIM cards between phones. One TracFone SIM card cannot be used in another Tracfone.

Things You'll Need

  • Original TracFone subscriber identity module (SIM) card

Step 1

Turn your phone off.

Step 2

Open the back of your phone and remove the SIM card you are attempting to use. TracFone handsets only work with their accompanying subscriber identity module, or SIM card. Trying to use another SIM card will result in an error during activation.

Step 3

Insert the SIM card included in your original phone packaging, making sure to follow the arrows for proper placement. The gold or silver points of the SIM card should be facing down. Replace the back of your phone.

Step 4

Turn on your phone. Push the center key and access your phone menu. Scroll to find your phone information. You need either the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) or Electronic Serial Number (ESN) for activation. Both numbers identify the handset you are using. You need one or both of these numbers to activate your handset online through the TracFone website or on the telephone via TracFone customer service.

Step 5

Turn off your phone. Wait at least 10 minutes before turning your phone on. This allows your phone to sync itself with the network and place call minutes you purchased into your account.