How to Transfer a Prepaid Phone Number

By Jefe Nubarron

Mobile Number Portability (MNP) is designed to allow mobile telephone customers retention of their telephone number when switching from one carrier to another. You can transfer most telephone numbers in and out, from one carrier to the next. A phone number from prepaid cellular service is no exception. There are other exceptions, and exclusions between carriers, but you will not know whether a port will actually succeed until the process has started. It is always initiated through the new operator.

Things You'll Need

  • New phone carrier
  • Recent copy of your phone bill

Step 1

Select a new telephone carrier. If you plan to use your current phone with your new carrier, you will need to ensure compatibility. The two most common standards in the U.S. are GSM and CDMA. The two standards are not interchangeable.

Step 2

Initiate the transfer process with the new phone carrier. You must start the process with the new carrier. This ensures that you don't go without service.

Step 3

Provide all necessary documentation and signatures. Your new carrier will need to see documentation that you are in control of the number to be ported. This typically takes the form of a bill. Sign and fax everything they request.

Step 4

Wait until your old carrier approves the porting request. The new carrier will keep you updated as your status changes. It could take anywhere from one day to four weeks.

Step 5

Address any issues that arise. If the porting request is denied, you may be able to provide further documentation to satisfy your old phone carrier. They are required by law to allow you to port your number, in most circumstances.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you cancel service with your current prepaid carrier before your number is fully transferred, you could lose the number. Always initiate the porting process from the new carrier.