Porting a Phone Number to TracFone

My Wife and I are looking to cut our cell phone bills by moving over to TracFone. We’ve been happy with the service from our current provider, but the pricing is quite high in today’s market. Below are my notes and summarization of the porting process as discribed on TracFone’s FAQ. Please refere to TracFone’s documentation for more information and official support.

Porting Requirements

  1. The phone number must be eligible to be ported
    • Eligibility will be checked at the initiation of the porting process
    • Pager numbers, special use numbers, and toll free numbers are not eligible for porting
  2. The phone number that you wish to transfer is still active with your carrier
    • Deactivation will happen automatically through the transfer process
  3. The phone number is being ported within a local service area
    • e.g. You can transfer a number within Atlanta, but not from Los Angeles to Atlanta
  4. You have a TracFone wireless phone
  5. Your TracFone number is active in TracFone’s system
  6. Your information on the Transfer Out request sent to TracFone from the other carrier matches the information in TracFone’s system.

Information Required to Initiate a Port Request

  1. Your name
  2. Your address
  3. A phone number
    • Must be a number to be reached at other than number requested for porting
  4. Your Social Security Number
  5. A recent bill with your current service provider
    • Required to ensure TracFone has the appropriate billing information when they send the transfer request to your current provider

How to Keep your Phone Number After it has been Successfully Ported

  1. You must purchase and add a TracFone Prepaid Wireless Airtime card before the Service End Date that is displayed on the TracFone.
    • If you do not purchase and add more airtime prior to the Service End Date, your TracFone Service will deactivated and you will lose your phone number.
    • If you lose your phone number you will not be able to reactivate the wireless number with any other wireless or wire line service provider.
    • A deactivated TracFone can be reactivated and a new phone number will be assigned after you purchase and add any denomination TracFone Prepaid Wireless Airtime card.
    • The addition of more TracFone Prepaid Wireless Airtime cards extends your active service 30, 90, or 365 days from the date the card is added depending on the airtime card
    • Your Service End Date will be displayed every time you turn on your TracFone.
  2. If your TracFone service remains inactive over 30 days, you will lose your telephone number.

Additional Terms and Conditions

  1. Your request to port-in your telephone number must be approved by your Current Service Provider before TracFone can activate service with your requested telephone number.
  2. Once approved, your TracFone wireless phone will be programmed with your requested number.
  3. The transfer process typically takes a few hours to complete but could take as long as 2 business days or longer for landlines.
  4. Until the porting process is completed, you will not be able to make a call other than calls to 911.
  5. If you need to call 911 please notify the 911 operator of your location since they will not be able to call your phone number during the porting process.
    • If you are in an area where there is no signal, it is highly probable that a call to 911 will not go through.
    • Do not rely on this function in an emergency situation. Locate the nearest landline phone and call for help.

UPDATE 1: My wife’s phone number has finished porting. We started the port process with TracFone ~noon on a Saturday and it took ~24 hours. Both my wife’s cell number and my cell number were associated with a single account at our old provider. We were more concerned with getting my wife’s number ported since more people call her directly. As such we started with hers. I was afraid the second number would just vanish after the first one was ported; I don’t mind if mine vanishes. Once my wife’s was ported, I went ahead and kicked off a port of mine. Let’s see if it’ll work.

UPDATE 2: Wow, that was fast. By the time I finished UPDATE 1 above and immediately checked my TracFone account, the port was finished! Turn around time was less than half an hour.