How to Find Out If a Cell Phone Number Was Ported

By Colleen Collins

Some cell phone providers offer online searches to check status of ported phone numbers
i cell phone call image by Donald Joski from

Wireless Local Network Portability (LNP) gives cell phone consumers the ability to keep, or port, their phone numbers to new cell phone service providers. As of February 2010, cell phone providers allow porting within the same metropolitan region, but not to a new city. A person can check with his new cell phone provider on the status and completion of his ported number, or hire a private investigator who specializes in phone searches to find out if a number was ported.

Call your cell phone provider. If you've recently ported your number from an old cell phone provider to a new one, call the new provider and request the status of the ported number. Often they can immediately inform you on which date the number was, or will be, ported to your new service. Your provider's contact number will be on your new service contract as well as on the main page of its website.

Check the provider's website. Many cell phone providers, such as Verizon Wireless and Sprint, have online searches for checking either the availability of porting a number or the status of a ported number. If you're interested in porting your cell phone number, or have placed a request to have it ported, ask your new provider if they provide a similar online status check. Your new cell phone provider's contact number is on your contract as well as on the main page of its website.

Hire a private investigator. Investigators who specialize in phone searches can help you learn if a cell phone number was ported. If your search regards the portability of your own cell phone number, contact your new cell phone provider who has the most up-to-date information on your ported number (whereas an investigator can help find out if any current cell phone number, not necessarily your own, is a ported number). To find a qualified investigator, contact your state professional private investigator association--go to the PI Magazine website for a state-by-state listing.