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How to Activate a Used Verizon Cell Phone

by ContributorUpdated September 15, 2017

Verizon Wireless offers a variety of phones to choose from, but some people prefer to activate a used cell phone instead of purchasing a new one. Activating a used Verizon cell phone is normally less expensive than buying a new cell phone. If you want to activate a used Verizon cell phone, there are a few things that you need to do.

Decide if you want to activate your used cell phone in person (at a Verizon Wireless store or authorized retailer), online or over the phone with a customer service representative (see Resources below). Select the method that best suit your needs.

Verify that the used phone is compatible with Verizon's network. Verizon Wireless only activates GPS-compliant devices on their network. When you contact Verizon Wireless, someone can verify the phone's make and model with you.

Check the status of the used cell phone by using the phone's electronic serial number (ESN). In order to activate your used Verizon cell phone, a customer service representative must verify whether or not the phone was reported lost or stolen and whether there's a previous balance on it. If the phone was reported lost or stolen, the representative has to speak with the person who reported it lost or stolen before you can proceed with the activation process.

Choose a plan and pay the appropriate fee(s). Depending upon your choice of plan and credit history, you may or may not have to pay an activation fee and/or deposit.

Complete the activation process. A customer service representative guides you through the activation process with just a few simple steps. You're able to use your phone immediately after you complete the activation process. If you are a current Verizon Wireless customer, you may be able to use the SIM card from your active phone and transfer it to the used Verizon cell phone.

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