Content of the material
- What does number porting mean?
- Option 2: Port your Google Voice number out to a mobile phone service
- Checking your number with Google Voice first
- Keep Your Current Phone Number (Port A Number to Google Voice)
- Information required by service providers when porting number to Google Voice
- U.S. Cellular
- Other carriers
- How to port VoIP numbers to Google Voice
- Why should I port number to Google Voice?
- How to port your cell phone to a Google Voice account
What does number porting mean?
When your port your number, it means that your existing phone number is transferred to another service provider.
That seems easy enough. When you do port a mobile number to google voice however, your new Google Voice number isn’t so straightforward to use. Here’s why you should and should not port a mobile number to Google Voice.
Option 2: Port your Google Voice number out to a mobile phone service
To port your number out of Google Voice, unlock the number. Then, let your mobile service provider know you want to port a number to their service. They do the rest.
Unlocking your Google Voice number costs $3, but it’s free if your number was originally ported in from a mobile service provider.
- On your computer, go to the Google Voice unlock page.
- Point to the Google Voice number you want to port, and click Unlock my number.
- Click Continue.
- Pay with your Google Account. You’ll get your receipt by email.
- Ask your mobile service provider to port your number to their service. Note: If your mobile service provider asks for your account number and PIN, provide your ten-digit Google Voice phone number and the PIN you use to access your Google Voice voicemail.
Note: Without a phone number, your account will change to Google Voice Lite.Lock your number again
If you decide not to port your Google Voice number, you can lock it again. On your computer, go to the Google Voice unlock page. Under your Google Voice number, click Relock my number. Click Continue. You’ll see a status page where your number is marked as “Locked.” You can always unlock your number again for free.“Can’t relock your number” error
If a service provider, like Verizon or AT&T, has already let us know about the port you asked for, you can’t relock your phone number.
Checking your number with Google Voice first
Before you do anything, you should head over to the Google Voice check number page, and enter your phone number. This will help determine whether you can port your phone number to Google Voice. (Yes, even if it’s your landline.)
Some area codes — Hawaii (area code 808) and Alaska (area code 907) — are not supported by Google Voice. So you should take this step first before wasting your time or money.
The answer you get is kind of the Zoltar of your landline’s future.
If the message says, “This number appears to be from an area we don’t currently support,” then you’re out of luck. You won’t be able to port your number to Google Voice.
But if your message says, “We don’t currently support porting from your carrier” then that’s good! It means you live in a supported area that supports porting your landline to a mobile carrier, and eventually Google Voice.
Keep Your Current Phone Number (Port A Number to Google Voice)
Planning to change your mobile plan and found a better deal with a competitor? This happens more often than you think. Your monthly bill will be a little cheaper than last month and your service is still just as good. But what about the phone number? You’ve been using the same number for several years. It’s the one all of your friends and family have saved in their phone. Do you hold off?
If you want to get a new number but still want to keep your old one, Google Voice can be the answer to your prayers. It offers individuals the chance to port their existing number over to their service for a one-time fee of $20. So not only will you get the new number with your new service, but you can also maintain your existing number and have all calls forwarded from that number to the new one. How awesome is that?
You’ll need to know that when you port a number to Google Voice, you can’t use the Google Voice app to send text messages–it requires a data connection over Wi-Fi or a mobile network. But you can, however, have Google Voice forward SMS texts to your new number. When replying to the incoming texts using your regular messaging app, the messages will appear to come from your new Google Voice number.
This is the same way that phone calls will work. With call-forwarding turned on, you can make and receive calls from your Google Voice number, even without a data connection. This should go without saying but you will need two phone numbers in order to port a number to Google Voice. This is your existing number where the calls and texts are received, and the new number to where they will be forwarded.
Your existing number will be the one ported over and must remain active at the time you begin the process. So DO NOT cancel your account before doing so. The new number can be one provided to you by your current carrier or a new carrier. Your second number can even be one from Google Voice. If you are switching carriers, once you start a new account with them and port your number over to Google Voice, Google will cancel your previous carrier account on your behalf. For a new number while remaining with the same carrier, after the number is added to Google Voice, Google will cancel your old number.
It’s very important that you don’t attempt to make such a change while still in the middle of a contract. Porting your number over has the potential to carry with it an Early Termination Fee (ETF) if canceled early. To be sure, contact the customer support of your current carrier and inform them of what your plans are before you cancel. They’ll be able to make a note on your account to not charge you an ETF when you finally cancel.
Calls and text messages to both numbers will reach you so long as call-forwarding has been turned on. However, outbound calls and texts will only be sent from your primary Google Voice number. Google Voice does allow you to swap which number you want as your primary, at any time you’d like.
To port a number over to your Google Voice account:
- Open Google Voice in your browser and log in.
- You must be within 90 days of the cancelation process in order to port the number over. Any later and the number will be unavailable.
- You’ll find Settings at the top right, so go ahead and click it.
- Click ‘Account‘ then click on ‘Change‘ under your phone number just as we did above.
- Click over to the ‘Phones‘ tab.
- Click ‘Change/Port‘ then click ‘I want to use my mobile number.’
- Type in your phone number and select ‘Check for available options.’
- Assuming your number is available for porting you will see a blue ‘Port your number‘ hyperlink at the bottom of the pop-up window. Click it.
- Check the boxes that appear confirming you accept the conditions of porting.
- On the next screen, input all of your current account information.
- Once the transaction has been completed, the expiration date next to your original Google Voice number will now disappear. It now belongs to you until you cancel/delete it yourself.
Information required by service providers when porting number to Google Voice
When preparing to port Google Voice number, you should gather the information that will be required by your service provider. Here is a breakdown of what different service providers ask for.
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- The Verizon no. you'd like to port
- The account holder's name
- Your Verizon account no. This is usually a ten or 14-digit no. formatted as 000000000-00000. Do not include the dash when you enter it
- The last four digits of the account holder's Social Security no.
- In some cases, you may also be asked for your account PIN. This is usually a 4-digit no.
- The AT&T no you'd like to port
- The account holder's name
- Your AT&T account number. Valid account numbers are 8, 9, 10, 12, or 15 digits. The most common are 9 or 12 digits
- The last four digits of the account holder's Social Security no
- In some cases, you may also be asked for your account PIN
- If you have a prepaid or GoPhone account: Contact AT&T support for your account no.
- The T-Mobile number you'd like to port
- The account holder's no
- A postpaid account no. is usually a nine-digit number but can be 9, 11, 12, or 15 digits
- A prepaid account no. is your 11-digit phone number (1+ area code + number.).
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- The Sprint no. you would like to port
- The account holder's name
- Your Sprint account no. (usually 9 digits)
- Your Sprint PIN/passcode (usually a 6- to 10-digits).
- Your U.S. Cellular account no., which is either the account no. or customer I.D. on your bill
The information varies by carrier. In most cases, you will need to provide the following:
- The phone no. you would like to port
- Name of the account owner
- Account no. from your current carrier
- Account PIN or passcode. Some carriers require this information to verify you own the number Google uses this information for the transfer only. We won't store or use it for any other purpose
- The account holder's Social Security no.
- Billing address of the account owner.
How to port VoIP numbers to Google Voice
If you’re already with a VoIP provider, you may want to port a virtual phone number to Google Voice.
There are, however, a few things you will need to take note:
Google Voice can only accept port-ins from mobile phone carriers like AT&T, Verizon and T-mobile.
Also, when you port your virtual phone number to a wireless carrier, the porting process will take about a week. This is excluding the several days’ wait when you port that number from the carrier to Google Voice.
Why should I port number to Google Voice?
There are many reasons why you should use the online telephone service. Here they are:
- It is a free service to sign up for. As long as you use it to communicate with other U.S. numbers, then it is free. For overseas calls, you will need to add credits to your account to pay for service. Usually, the cost is 1 cent per minute
- You can route incoming calls to one or more other numbers
- There is the call-recording option that only works for incoming calls
- You can set up voicemail so that messages are transcribed to text messages or delivered by email
- It allows you to forward calls from one number to another
- You only need a microphone and speaker to use it, so you can actually make calls on your laptop or phone
- The service also syncs across devices
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How to port your cell phone to a Google Voice account
Before proceeding, it’s worth noting that porting your mobile number to Google Voice will cost a flat $20 fee through most providers, including AT&T and Verizon.
In addition, not all mobile numbers can be ported to Google Voice, and you should check the porting status page to see if your number qualifies. You’ll also need to get your account number and pin from your service provider before proceeding.
If you’re good to go, you can follow these steps, which start out the same as the above section.
1. Visit the Google Voice homepage and then navigate to Legacy Google Voice via the menu on the upper left-hand corner of your screen.
2. Click Settings (the icon that looks like a cog) and then Settings again. Then, click the Phones tab.
3. Next to your current Google Voice number, click Change/Port, then select I want to use my mobile number.
4. Follow the instructions to proceed with setting up your new number and complete payment. You’ll then need to set up phones to receive calls once the process is complete. Your number can take between 48 and 96 hours to port.
Jennifer Still Jennifer is a writer and editor from Brooklyn, New York, who spends her time traveling, drinking iced coffee, and watching way too much TV. She has bylines in Vanity Fair, Glamour, Decider, Mic, and many more. You can find her on Twitter at @jenniferlstill. Read more Read less