Whether you already picked up a SIM card from Verizon or not, you will inevitably have to enable it. Don’t worry, we’ll cover both stages, and explain exactly what you should do. First, refresh your memory on what is a SIM card and what is SIM card used for. You might have also bought the wrong SIM card type (in that case, ask Verizon to switch from a prepaid SIM to postpaid SIM, and vice versa), or the wrong SIM card size. It’s better to catch the error early so you can enjoy its benefits right away. With that said, here’s how to activate Verizon SIM card.
1. Verify network capabilities
If you purchased a new SIM card alongside a new smartphone, they should be compatible. But if you purchased a new phone from Verizon, especially one using a 5G network, you might or might not have trouble activating an “older” SIM card with 4G LTE capabilities, even if it fits perfectly. It’s officially supported, but if you aren’t in a hurry, it’s always best to block your current SIM card and get a brand new one from Verizon. You’ll save yourself from hassle, and ensure you’re unlocking the maximum network potential of 5G.
2. Inserting the SIM card
We already taught you how to insert a SIM card on Android and iOS devices. If you need to remove a SIM card to put a new one, learn how SIM swapping works. If you bought a new device, educate yourself on what happens if you put your old SIM card in another phone. Long story short, everything that’s stored on a SIM card will be carried over, although it’s recommended that you download the data from a backup.
3. Instructions to activate Verizon SIM card
If the SIM card was pre-installed, e.g. already inserted at the time of purchase, you might get away with simply unlocking the SIM card from Verizon with a PIN, and maybe following the steps to enable the SIM card in that article if needed.
1. Do you need to transfer data (including contacts) from an old phone to the new?
2. To turn on Verizon SIM card online
Connect your device to a Wireless network or hotspot, then do this.
- Open Verizon’s Activate or Switch Device page.
- Log in with your User ID or mobile phone number.
- If you haven’t registered yet, click on Register below, then enter your 10-digit mobile number given by Verizon.
- If you registered in the past but forgot the User ID or password, click on Forgot your info?
- Click on Sign in.
- Switch to the My Devices tab.
- Click on Activations or Activating My Phone.
- Keep in mind, “Phone” might be replaced with the actual name of your phone.
- Click on Verizon Activations, then on Activate SIM.
- You’ll see a list of devices if it’s an old account, or just your current one if it’s new.
- Click on Select Device.
- You might be prompted to click on Activate a Device on an Existing Line.
- Under Device Type, choose 4G / LTE or 5G, depending on the phone.
- ESN/IMEI will typically be automatically filled.
- Under SIM Card Number, you need to enter a long SIM ID number. It is printed:
- Click on Check SIM Card to the right of SIM Card Number to get a list of available plans.
- If you already registered a plan at the store, the Complete Transaction step will be skipped.
- As a final check, Verizon will ask you to pick the phone to send a code to.
- Click on the phone image/name, and click on Text Me the Code.
- Enter the code you received as an SMS into the field on the website.
- Click Confirm and you can now use your phone.
2. Using the My Verizon app to activate the SIM card
Once again, connect to the Internet.
- Tap on the My Verizon app on your smartphone (both iOS and Android).
- Sign in if you haven’t already.
- Tap on Add device.
- Tap on Activate a device I already own.
- Select the type of device and the operating system if it doesn’t detect them automatically.
- Enter your device ID.
This is the IMEI/EMEI/IMSI/MEID number, depending on the phone model. It can be found in different places if the app doesn’t detect it automatically. Do a little research or install a third-party app to display it on-screen.
- Your phone will now be activated.
3. Using a telephone number
If you don’t have access to the Internet and don’t trust apps, you can do this process from any phone.
- Turn off your current phone, but insert the SIM card.
- Call 1-877-807-4646 from any other phone.
- Follow the voice commands and on-screen prompts to enter the necessary data.
- Turn your primary phone on. You’ll notice 3G/4G/5G functionality is now enabled.
- Follow the on-screen Setup Wizard instructions that appear after you enter your PIN.
- After you accept Verizon’s Customer Agreement, your SIM card has full access to the network.
4. Still confused?
If so, maybe a nicely drawn, simple yes/no algorithm will help you determine what to do.
5. Did you buy a device from a different carrier?
If you read our article on how to unlock a SIM card, you know that carriers impose a software lock to prevent you from jumping ship. You’ll have to send an unlock request to the carrier whose device you own. After you meet all of their requirements, they’ll send you a code that will make your phone capable of using a Verizon SIM card. Come back and follow these steps afterward. If they don’t, read about potential alternatives in the same article.