Find answers to commonly asked questions about a phone number transfer on this page. For more information, see Transferring your existing phone number to T-Mobile.
What is WLNP?
Wireless Local Number Portability (WLNP) is an industry term referring to the ability of a wireless customer to change providers within the same local area and still keep the same phone number. WLNP is mandated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
As a wireless service provider, we support the following types of WLNP:
- Wireless to wireless
- Landline to wireless
- Wireless to landline
The T-Mobile term for WLNP is number transfer, or it may also be called porting.
Does porting only apply to new activations?
No, a porting (number transfer) request may be part of a:
- New activation
- Add-on line activation
- Existing mobile number change
What information do I need to transfer my phone number to T-Mobile?
To transfer a phone nymber, you'll need:
- Telephone number to be transferred
- Name of your current service provider
- A copy of your current service provider bill or the following information from your current service provider account:
- Account number
- Name and address exactly as they appear on the bill
- Password or PIN (if used)
- Social security number or Tax ID
- Identification: driver's license, passport, or state-issued photo ID
- A telephone number where he/she can be reached during the transfer process
Who can initiate a port request?
- On an Individual (Consumer) account, only the Billing Name is authorized to initiate a port request.
- On a Business account, only any Authorized Users are authorized to initiate a port request.
Can my phone number that's in someone else's name with another carrier be transferred into a T-Mobile account under my name?
Yes. Please contact us for more information.
Can I make and receive calls during the transfer process?
- Normally, you should be able make and receive calls. However, the calls may be transmitted over either the old or the new service provider's network, and only one handset may be able to receive calls. For more information, see Dual service during a phone number transfer.
- It's best to keep both handsets available during the transfer process.
- If your old service provider disconnects your number before T-Mobile has completely activated it, neither phone may have service.
Will T-Mobile credit my Early Termination Fee (ETF) from the other service provider if I'm still under contract?
No. T-Mobile cannot waive fees from other service providers.
Can I transfer in to T-Mobile and then transfer out?
Yes, you can transfer to and from T-Mobile as often as you like. However, be aware you're responsible for any charges, such as Activation Fees or Early Termination Fees, incurred because of a transfer.
Can I stop the transfer process at any time?
- When transferring in to T-Mobile, you may be able to cancel the request as long as the number has not actually transferred. Please contact us for assistance in this case.
- When transferring out of T-Mobile, you must contact the new service provider to cancel the request.
Can the same number ring on my T-Mobile wireless handset and my landline phone?
No. A T-Mobile number will ring only on a wireless handset with a T-Mobile SIM.
Number Transfer Timelines FAQs
How long does it take to transfer my number to T-Mobile?
Most number transfer requests for numbers currently with other wireless providers are completed within 24 hours. Requests from landline providers can take up to 10 business days, but most requests are completed in two business days or less.
Can I future-date a number transfer request?
Yes. The due date on a request can be up to 30 calendar days in the future. If you want a transfer date that is more than 30 days out (for instance, to avoid incurring an Early Termination Fee with your current service provider), please consider the following:
- Activate a new T-Mobile number instead of doing a number transfer.
- Call us back closer to the desired transfer date to replace your new T-Mobile number with the number you want to transfer.
Why might a transfer request be delayed?
Most transfer requests are delayed because of missing customer information or information that does not match the other service provider's records. A request may also be delayed because of:
- Incorrect due date and time information
- The need for manual processing by one or both service providers
- System issues, such as upgrades or outages, with T-Mobile or the other service provider
- Network issues which prevents the transfer from one service provider to the other or the broadcast of the change in service provider.
Will T-Mobile contact me if my port request is delayed?
Our Number Transfer Center (NTC) will contact you if help is needed to complete your request.
Example: If the information on the request is wrong.
The NTC does not normally contact you if the request is delayed by issues other than customer information inaccuracy.
Will I be billed by both companies while my number is transferring?
- During the transfer process, both service providers may bill, since both may see you as active in their billing systems.
- We start to bill you as soon as the phone number is active on your T-Mobile account.
- You will know when your number becomes active because we will send a message to your handset.
- If you choose to have a courtesy temporary T-Mobile number during the transfer process, billing starts when the courtesy number is activated.
- You should contact your other service provider with any questions about the other service provider's bill.
Should I use up all the time on my prepaid account with my old service provider before transferring to T-Mobile?
No. Some service providers automatically cancel a prepaid number when all the minutes on the account are used up. Since the number must be active to be eligible to transfer, you should leave some minutes on the account.
Is there a charge for transferring my phone number to T-Mobile?
T-Mobile does not charge a transfer fee. However:
- An activation fee may apply with any new activation.
- T-Mobile recovers the costs of implementing various FCC-mandated programs -- including WLNP -- by charging a Regulatory Program Fee. This fee is charged to all T-Mobile customers on a monthly basis.
Do you charge activation fees on transferred numbers?
Activation fees apply to new and add-on activations.
Activation fees do NOT apply to:
- Mobile number changes for existing phone lines.
- Customers who transfer out of T-Mobile and transfer back within 90 days.