How to Fix a Direct TV Card

by Virginia Franco

The Direct TV access card allows your satellite provider to capture what it needs to bill you each month and also contains details about your service plan. You cannot get satellite TV service without an access card. If you have Direct TV and you can't get any programs or shows to come up on the screen, it may be because your access card is not properly working. Access cards fail to work for a number of reasons--everything from faulty activation to improper installation. Most of the time fixing your Direct TV access card is easy and should not take more than a few minutes of your time.

Step 1

Verify that your card has been properly activated by calling Direct TV's customer service department at 1--800--531--5000. Follow the prompt menu to reach a customer service agent.

Step 2

Ask the customer service agent to activate, or re-activate, your Direct TV access card. Wait until you receive confirmation that this has been done before ending the call.

Step 3

Turn off your receiver's power by pushing the power button, and unplug it completely from the wall outlet.

Step 4

Wait for 15 seconds to give the receiver time to fully reset.

Step 5

Plug your receiver back into the wall outlet and turn it on by pressing the power button.

Step 6

Wipe your Direct TV access card with a tissue prior to inserting it, as dirt on the contacts inside the receiver could impact the card's ability to work.

Insert the access card all the way into the card slot right side up. If the card is only partially in, or is installed upside down, it will not function.


  • Be wary of buying replacement Direct TV cards from online dealers. Many of these dealers sell pirated access cards that have been reprogrammed illegally. If you are unable to fix your card using the steps above, request additional service from your satellite TV provider.


  • If you have trouble manually resetting your receiver, you can access your account via DirecTV's website and request a receiver reset online.

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About the Author

Based in Charlotte, N.C., Virginia Franco has more than 15 years experience freelance writing. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including the education magazine "My School Rocks" and Franco has a master's degree in social work with an emphasis in health care from the University of Maryland and a journalism degree from the University of Richmond.

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