How to Clear the ESN Off of a Sprint Phone

By Leigh Egan

An electronic serial number, also known as an ESN, is a unique number engraved onto the microchip of your cell phone that identifies your personal number and validates the calls made from your phone. When the ESN is released or cleared by Sprint, you are essentially clearing all of the previous usage off of the cell phone. Getting the ESN released is a relatively simple process as long as you can meet certain requirements.

Step 1

Determine if your Sprint phone is associated with a business account or a residential account. Contact Sprint customer service if you are unsure. Note that if you have a residential account, you must pay off any outstanding debt before you can clear the ESN, and your phone must not have been reported lost or stolen.

Step 2

Contact Sprint customer service if your phone is associated with a commercial account or in your company's name, and request a release of the ESN. Keep in mind that you may have to have your employer or the department in charge of your company's cell phones fill out the appropriate paperwork to ensure the release of the ESN.

Step 3

Make sure the status of your cell phone is in good standing with Sprint. Provide proper identification if needed in order to reactivate your account or remove it from the lost or stolen list. Contact the previous owner of your Sprint phone if you purchased it without an account. Note that the individual or company that you bought the phone from may have to prove identity to Sprint in order for the ESN to be cleared. Once the identification has been confirmed, your ESN will be cleared.