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How To Unlock a Verizon Phone

If you have a device you enjoy from Verizon, but are looking at getting coverage through a different carrier, you’ll be happy to know there is a way to unlock your device and use it with your new plan. Verizon, like most cell phone providers in the United States, will work with customers looking to unlock their device. Usually, certain conditions need to be met before a device can be unlocked, so make sure you look into what requirements might apply to you. Use the tool below or read on for other ways to unlock your Verizon cell phone.

What are Verizon’s Requirements for Unlocking a Mobile Device?

Unlike most other companies Verizon’s smartphones, and every one of their 4G LTE devices, aren’t actually locked. Which means that except for some minor requirements, you will be able to cancel your plan and switch to another carrier with your device.

The main requirement is, if you have a two-year contract, you need to have made all your payments. Your account must also be in good standing if using your device with another company will be an option. The same requirements apply if you’re financing with a payment plan like Verizon Edge. You need to have made all necessary monthly payments, with no outstanding balances with Verizon.

In addition to financial requirements, whichever device you’ll be switching carriers with can’t be associated with any fraudulent activity. This, of course, includes being reported as lost or stolen.

What are the Exceptions?

If you have a Verizon prepaid phone, things work a little differently. Before it can be unlocked, you have to wait 12 months from the date of activation. After that time has passed, you can use a code in order to unlock the device. There are two codes that usually work. The first is a series of six zeros. The second is the numbers 1-6 in sequence. Should you have trouble, you can always contact Verizon directly for help.

As an exception, Verizon will unlock prepaid devices before the initial 12-month time frame for military personnel on deployment.

One other exception to the 12-month prepaid time-frame are non-iPhone Global Ready 3G devices. These can be unlocked at any time with the codes mentioned above.

Things to Think About

Not all cell carriers use the same network technology or frequencies, so it’s important to make sure your device will work with the network your new provider has. The network technology that Verizon uses is CDMA, which isn’t used by main competitors like AT&T or T-Mobile. The exception to this is Verizon’s 4G LTE devices, which should be able to work with the other carrier’s LTE networks.

Sprint, like Verizon, uses CDMA. However, their network utilizes a different frequency band than Verizon. This means that unlocked devices from competitors won’t usually work with Sprint’s network. Some 4G LTE devices may be able to make the switch to Sprint’s BYOD plan, but it’s not a guarantee. So if you’re looking into Sprint’s plans, make sure to contact them to see if your Verizon device will be able to make the switch with you.