What Is A Verizon Unlocked Phone?
Unlocked phones are all phones that are not locked to a specific carrier. That means that they may be used with other carriers’ SIM cards. Adding ‘Verizon’ to unlocked phones, it means that we are referring to phones provided by Verizon that are no longer locked to their network.
As we move along, we will go into details on all aspects of how to unlock Verizon phone.
Note: A device being locked does not impact your ability to roam onto another carrier’s network.
Is My Verizon Phone Unlocked? How Can I Tell If I Have An Unlocked Phone?
There are actually several ways how to check if your phone is locked or not. Below we will cover the three most common methods to check that fast and easy.
Check Your Settings
This method may slightly vary from phone model to phone model, however, in general, there are were similar steps to access this information on all Android phones and iPhones.
- Android: Go to Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data
If you have an option for “Cellular Data Options” then your phone is most likely already unlocked.
- iPhone: Go to Settings > Mobile Networks > Network Operators
If you’re able to see other networks then it’s likely your phone is unlocked (but this isn’t always 100% reliable).
Contact Your Carrier
This option will provide you with a definite answer, however, you may not be able to get in touch with the support at any time you please, or their lines may be busy.
For Verizon phones, you must call their support at 800-922-0204. You can call them on Mon-Sat, 8 AM – 7 PM local time or Sun, 8 AM – 5 PM local time. Moreover, you can also schedule a callback online.
Once you have reached the support, you will need to provide them with your phone number and probably some other personal data, which will help them confirm that they are actually talking with you. Then they might ask you to provide your phone’s IMEI number, which they will use to check your phone’s unlocking status.
Note: Since you are using their phone, they may be able to provide you with the information you need solely based on your phone number.
Switch SIM Cards
If you have an active SIM card from another carrier at your hand, you can simply insert that SIM card into your Verizon phone and turn it on. If it is able to connect to that carrier’s network the phone is probably unlocked. To ensure that it is truly unlocked, try making a call, sending a text, or do some browsing. If you can perform any of those actions using any other carrier’s SIM card, you have an unlocked Verizon phone on your hands.
If your phone is locked to Verizon, you will most likely get the “SIM Not Supported” message, when turning your phone back on after inserting a non-Verizon SIM.
Why Should You Unlock Your Verizon Phone?
Herein we will cover the most common reasons why one should consider unlocking his/her Verizon phone.
It is rather difficult to say which reason is the most important, as it varies on customers’ preferences and intentions. Thus, they are probably equally important. Though, the most common reason is still to switch carriers, as such we will cover that one first.
To Switch Carriers
If you have a working phone on your hands and want to continue using it with another carrier, assuming that the Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP) option is offered by that carrier, you will need to unlock your phone first.
In the past, there were compatibility limitations between the GSM and CDMA phones, however, ever since the birth of 4G LTE networks, this is no longer an issue as all 4G-based phones use SIM cards. That means that you can use GSM unlocked phones on CDMA or vice versa as long as they are unlocked.
To Travel Abroad
This is also a common reason. When you visit any foreign country, it makes a lot of sense to purchase one of their local carrier’s SIM card and use it with your phone. That way you won’t be limited to WiFi networks, but will be able to use mobile data to use navigation system, social media, send emails, and more.
Your network may offer you roaming options, however, using a local SIM card will be MUCH cheaper. Keep in mind that making (even incoming) calls and using mobile data in a foreign country using your home-country SIM card can be extremely costly.
If you have an unlocked phone on your hands, this is easily done by simply changing the SIM cards, or adding a foreign one (if you have dual-SIM card phone). After physically installing the foreign SIM card, you will also have to activate it and load some air time. Use the instructions provided with the SIM kit pack to complete the process.
To Lower Tariff Plans
Getting your phone unlocked, you will have complete freedom to use any carrier you want. That way you will be able to use the one that will enable you to spend the least amount of money and that way save some extra.
To Sell the Phone
If your phone is in solid condition and you want to upgrade to a new one, you may consider selling it. It is not impossible to sell it while locked (that is if the buyer plans to use it with the same carrier), however, you will have a much better chance of selling your device if it is unlocked.
To Multi-Band Usage
Locked phones tend to be limited to the specific band and signal frequencies within that band. Of course, the total amount of devices band capability depends on the phone’s model, however, a specific phone will normally be able to use a greater number of bands once unlocked. As such, you will get potentially a better signal coverage.
What Are Verizon’s Requirements For Unlocking A Mobile Device?
Since July 23, 2019, Verizon made things very user friendly, as they have a very short phone lock period of 60 days. Most carriers have that set at 12 months.
Below are the details of Verizon’s Locking/Unlocking policy:
This policy applies to new and existing customers, postpaid and prepaid plans, and customers porting their service to another carrier.
- Device purchased at full retail price or on a device payment agreement – Locked for 60 days from purchase
- Device purchased on a device payment agreement and paid off before 60-day requirement – Locked for 60 days from purchase
- Customers porting out service – Device remains locked until the 60-day requirement has been met
- Verizon service canceled while the device is locked – Device remains locked until the 60-day requirement has been met
- Prepaid customers – Locked for 60 days from purchase
Your device will be unlocked automatically as long as you are 60 days from purchase and your device is not flagged for fraud or reported as lost or stolen.
Things to Consider Before Unlocking Your Verizon Device
Considering the information given above, all Verizon phones should be automatically unlocked after 60 days of purchase if all is in order.
If you are trying to unlock your device before those 60 days, which we highly not recommend, you should consider the fact that this act can have legal consequences, it can also negatively affect your phone performance and more. Thus we strongly recommend you stick to Verizon policy and wait those 60 days for your device to be automatically unlocked.
How Do I Unlock A Verizon Phone?
In this section, we will focus on how to unlock a Verizon phone. We will start with the best and officially legit way and then move on to alternative options.
How to Unlock Verizon Phone the Official Way
As mentioned twice already, the best way to get your Verizon device unlocked is to wait 60 days after purchase, when it will be automatically unlocked. In case that it has been over 60 days since you have purchased your Verizon device and it is still locked, make sure to call Verizon support and check why your device is still locked.
If there has been an issue on their end, they will gladly unlock it for you. They may provide you with the code that you will need to enter or they may do the trick on their end. However, there is a great chance that there is a problem on your end. Perhaps you have unpaid bills or other issues related to your account or device that are blocking the auto-unlocking process.
How to Unlock Verizon Phone Using a Third-Party Service
Like with most things in life, there are always some alternatives. If you are not able to wait those 60 days to get your device unlocked and are willing to face potential consequences of violating Verizon’s unlocking policy, then you can use third-party services. These are basically online sites, where you provide your phone’s ID number and then pay for them to provide you with an unlocking code, which you enter on your phone. Of course, these services are not free. DirectUnlock.com is one of the most reputable and very popular third party-unlocking providers.
However, there are some sites, that you may get the unlocking code for free, though these codes do not always work.
There are two simple steps to get your phone unlocked by a third party, such as DirectUnlock.com.
Step 1: Fetch the IMEI Number
Before you can start on the work of getting your device SIM unlocked, you are required to get the IMEI number. The IMEI number is a unique code that is assigned to your phone by its manufacturer, which acts as an identification tool (it is also known as the phone’s ID) that is used by the authorities to track down the device in case it is lost or stolen. Here the instruction on how to find the IMEI code linked to your Verizon phone:
- Open the Phone app on your mobile device.
- Bring up the dialer screen and enter the following number – *#06#*
- Press the dial button, at which point you will see a pop-up window with the IMEI number of your phone displayed on it.
Make sure that you note down the IMEI number displayed on the screen since you will be needing it, later on, to request an unlock code.
Step 2: Use Third-Party SIM Unlock Service
- Note: The instructions below are focused on DirectUnlock.com services, which means that steps on other sites may vary slightly.
- Now that you have your phone’s IMEI number, you can head on to DirectUnlocks service provider.
- On the home screen, locate the region from where you’ve purchased your phone, which should be the United States in the case of Verizon.
- Then, under the Country of your selection, pick the Network Carrier as Verizon and continue.
- Next, you will be able to view the unlocking fees that DirectUnlocks charges for each of the network operators.
- When you click on the network carrier name, you will be asked to choose the phone model as well.
- You will then be asked to enter the IMEI Number, so type in the code that you fetched in the step.
- The next page will give you additional details about your model and ask you to confirm the IMEI number you have typed in.
- You will be able to view the Average Timeframe mentioned by DirectUnlocks to complete the unlocking process.
The unlocking process should now begin and the website does give you the ability to track the progress using the reference information emailed to you. As soon as the unlocking process is successfully completed, the unlock code will be sent to you by email. Thus make sure that you’ve provided the correct email address.
How to Unlock Verizon iPhone without SIM Card Online
The process for models that use eSIM (that don’t have physical SIM cards) it is essentially very similar to the one described in the previous section. For this purpose many recommend DoctorSIM to be one of the best options.
You will again have to complete the following steps:
- Select your phone brand
- Select the exact model, country, and network provider
- Enter your phones IMEI number
- Complete the purchase
- Receive the unlocking code
How to Unlock Verizon iPhone with iPhoneIMEI.net
Apple’s iPhones tend to be slightly trickier than most Android phones when it comes to unlocking them. However, the most reputable third-party unlocking sites are normally able to get iPhones unlocked as well. DoctorSIM is a good option for iPhones and iPhoneIMEI.net is a second valid choice. It currently supports unlocking of iPhone 7 and older.
The steps are very similar as in the previous two sections:
- Go to iPhoneIMEI.net official website.
- Select your iPhone model and the network your phone is locked to, then click on Unlock.
- In the new window, follow the instruction to find the IMEI number (if you don’t have it yet). Then enter the IMEI number and click on Unlock Now. It will direct you to finish the payment process.
- Once the payment is successful, the system will send your IMEI number to the network provider and whitelist it from Apple’s database. This is usually done within 1-5 days. Then you will receive a confirmation email that your phone has been unlocked successfully.
How to Unlock your Verizon CDMA Phone
Verizon operated on the CDMA network, thus all Verizon phones are essentially CDMA phones. However, since 4G LTE came to life even all CDMA phones started to use SIM cards.
All Verizon CDMA phones are unlocked automatically after 60-days. If that is not the case, call Verizon support or use one of the above presented third-party unlocking services.
Military Exemptions to Verizon’s Unlock Policy
Verizon offers exemptions to military personnel who are relocated to areas outside of Verizon’s coverage area. If this applies to you, you may request a phone unlock during the 60-day mandatory phone lock period.
For successful unlocking, you may be required to show proof of your relocation/deployment to verify your device’s unlock exemption.
Verizon Network Unlock Process
The Verizon Network Unlock process is just another work for phone unlocking or SIM card unlocking, which we have covered in the previous sections.
What Networks Can I Switch To Using My Unlocked Verizon Device?
If your Verizon unlocked phone is a 4G-based model, then you should be able to use your device with any carrier that offers Bring Your Own Phone option. However, since compatibility tends to be tricky from time to time, you should always use the new carrier’s (the carrier you plan on using your unlocked phone with) compatibility check, which is typically available on their official websites.
What If I Forget The Code To My Device?
The unlocking your phone in the sense of making it able to operate with other SIM cards, which is the topic of this article, has nothing to do with the screen lock passcode or patterns.
If you forgot those, you’ll need to contact your phone’s manufacturer and make an unlock request. Sure, you can first get in touch with Verizon and explain your situation and ask if they can help you in any way.
As you will call the phone’s manufacturer, you will be asked to answer some security questions that will ensure that you are the owner of the phone, which you are trying to unlock.
Why Are Phones Locked?
Back to the locked phones (in sense of being locked to specific carrier’s SIM cars; in our case to Verizon).
Carriers lock phones to their network for two main reasons; one is to avoid any frauds and makes sure that the customer pays the phone and other bills in full, another is marketing move that helps them ensure that the client stays with their services.
However, as mentioned at the beginning, Verizon is very kind in this view. Compared to other carriers who most commonly lock devices to their networks for 12 months and do not offer auto-unlocking, Verizon’s 60-day locking policy seems extremely user-friendly.