How to Change an IMEI Cell Number

By Melissa Lowery

Every cell phone is linked with a set of International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers. The IMEI numbers range between 14 and 16 digits and identify the device's manufacturer and model. This set of numbers acts as the serial number of the device. When switching to a new mobile device, you will need to update the IMEI numbers to ensure that your device continues to work properly on your service provider's network and to allow access to your current features, such as Mobile Web.

Step 1

Locate the new phone's IMEI numbers. Most mobile phones will display the IMEI numbers by dialing *#06# from the phone. These numbers can also be found under the battery in most cell phones as well as in the "About" option in the "Settings" menu of many smart phones.

Step 2

Contact your wireless provider's customer care department by dialing 611. If you have not activated the cell phone, you will need to call customer care from another phone. The toll-free number will be found on your activation instructions that accompanied the cell phone.

Step 3

Verify your account. In order to make any changes, you must have the account holder's first and last name as well as the last four digits of that person's Social Security number and any passwords associated with the account.

Step 4

State the reason for your call. Make the representative aware of why you are changing the IMEI numbers and provide the numbers clearly.

Step 5

Place test calls. If you are calling from the device, power it off and back on before placing incoming and outgoing test calls after your conversation with the representative has ended. If you are calling from another line, the representative will walk you through these test calls before ending the call.

Tips & Warnings

  • If this is for a contract upgrade, contact the customer care department prior to powering the new mobile phone on. This will prevent an accidental new activation instead of the desired upgrade activation.