After moving, changing your address is a lot of work, but you don’t necessarily have to change your phone number. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) governs rules about phone number portability.
It can be a frustrating process to port a number because the new phone provider doesn’t always cooperate and the old phone provider doesn’t always put a lot of effort into the process since they are losing a customer.
How to Keep Your Phone Number
As long as you move in the same geographic area, you can move a wireless, wired, or VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) number to another wireless, wired, or VoIP provider, keeping the same phone number.
The key steps to porting a number are important to follow:
1. Keep your current service active with your existing phone provider until the porting is complete. Cancel your old service after porting is complete.
2. Call your current provider to get any special codes required for the new provider have in order to release the number.
3. Make sure the new provider has any special codes needed, the phone number being ported, your address, a password if needed, and your account numbers and names on both the old and new provider accounts.
4. Be sure and ask the provider if there is a fee to port the number.
5. You will have to complete a third-party authorization form or a voice request that the new provider will give you to specifically request and authorize the number to be ported. Otherwise, your old provider will not release the number to a new phone provider.
Most phone porting happens in one business day, but if it doesn’t fall under the FCC’s simple port guidelines, it can take several days.
If you experience a lack of cooperation with either phone provider, you can file a complaint at FCC.gov. In my experience, a complaint can help if you have to go that route. After 30 days of struggle getting a phone number to port recently, I filed the FCC complaint and the number magically ported the next business day.