There are many reasons why a person might want to change their phone number, and there are many ways to go about doing it. Each of the big three cell carriers, Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T, has its process for changing phone numbers.
How To Change Your Phone Number for Common Carriers
Sometimes a phone number is outdated, and you are looking for a change, while other times, you might be interested in updating your area code. Whatever your reasons are, changing your phone number is always an option, no matter what hardware and carrier you are connected to.
Changing Your Phone Number With T-Mobile
The best way to prepare for a possible number change with T-Mobile is to sign up for a cellular plan with Scam Shield. If you have Scam Shield, you get one free phone number change per year per line, making it a relatively stress-free process. Any number changes after the initial change will come out to $15 a pop.
To change your number with T-Mobile, you have to speak with a company representative directly and complete the process in real-time. Afterward, your old number will be held for 45-90 days before it is eligible for reuse.
It can take up to four hours for your number change to go into effect, and once it is done, your voicemail messages will be deleted. A new voicemail box will have to be set up after changing your number.
Changing Your Phone Number With AT&T
Within 30 days of activating your account with AT&T, you can change your phone number for free. Unfortunately, if you miss that cutoff, you have to pay $36 to change your phone number. You can request a change through your online MyAt&T account, through a representative at a local AT&T branch, or just over the phone.
If you decide to change your number online, just follow these steps:
- Go to Mobile number change.
- Scroll to and choose the device you want to change the number for.
- Follow the prompts to get a new number.
Just like with T-Mobile, you will need to set up a new voicemail box and update any accounts connected to your old phone number.
Changing Your Phone Number With Verizon
When you do a number change through Verizon, you can do so on the Change My Number page on their website. You can choose your prefix and area code, with the last four digits assigned based on availability. If you change your number online or through the app, the process is free, while having a representative do it for you does come with a fee.
The change will happen the same day you complete the process unless you choose a different effective date. All contacts will be saved on your phone so you won’t lose them, but your voicemail starts from scratch, just like the other companies.
It is important to note that if you have a pending order on your account, you cannot change your phone number. You need to wait until everything on your account is in order before making the change. If anyone tries to call you once you have changed your number, they will get a voice notification explaining that the number is no longer in service.
Using Google Voice To Get a New Phone Number
Google voice is different from the other options on this list because it is not a cell phone carrier. Changing your number is a simple and instantaneous process when using Google Voice.
The following are the steps laid out by Google Voice on how to change your number:
- Open Google Voice.
- Sign in with your Google account.
- At the top right, click Settings, then click Account.
- Under “Google Voice number,” find the number you want to delete and delete it.
- A message will pop up saying, "You don't have a Google Voice number," which will prompt you to click to get a new one.
- Enter the city name or zip code in the search bar and follow the prompts to get your number.
You can also opt to port your mobile phone number to Google Voice, which will come with a $20 fee.
What You Need To Know Before Changing Your Phone Number
Can You Get a New Phone and Keep the Same Number?
Yes, getting a new phone without changing your phone number is very common. Many people use an upgrade plan with their carrier that updates their phone every few years. The SIM card information stays consistent with every change, and with the Cloud, users can keep everything they had on their previous device.
If you use a removable SIM card, then you can use any compatible phone that you want, so long as you insert the card in. eSIM cards are more difficult to use this way as the information has to be rewritten. However, you can still use the same SIM information with a new phone with either.
Do You Need To Change Your Number When You Switch Carriers?
The FCC requires that porting be a simple process, meaning it is simple to keep your information, including your phone number, consistent when changing carriers. Some companies will charge fees for porting.
Porting will not always be a viable option, as sometimes, moving to a new place will force you to get a completely new phone number. That being said, in most cases, you can keep your phone number regardless of what carrier you switch to.
Changing your phone number is a relatively simple process regardless of your carrier and region. For more help figuring out the right plan and hardware for your needs, consider using Navi. When you’re making a big decision for your mobile plan, Navi can help you make sure you are never overpaying. Navi uses industry insight and market knowledge to guide you toward the best possible deals.
No matter your reasons for changing your phone number, the process is cheap and simple. Make sure you are prepared to change your voicemail box and accounts, but otherwise, you can keep your current mobile device and make the process relatively quick and seamless.
Change your phone number | T-Mobile Support
Change Your Wireless Number | AT&T
Change/pick your mobile phone number FAQs | My Verizon
Change your Google Voice number | Google Voice
Porting: Keeping Your Phone Number When You Change Providers | Federal Communications Commission