What Is a PUK Code for an LG TracFone?

by Mandy Slake

The PUK code on an LG TracFone is short for PIN Unblocking Key. The PIN is a lock code on the phone's SIM card. The default SIM PIN code on TracFones is 0000, but the SIM PIN prompt is not enabled by default. It is possible to change the code and activate the feature through the menu. If you forget the code and enter the wrong code too many times, TracFone blocks the SIM card.

Why Phones Prompt for a PUK Code

On a GSM handset , the network information is stored in the SIM card instead of in the handset. This makes it easy to transfer the number from one phone to another, but it's also a security risk. A lock code on the handset doesn't prevent someone from taking the SIM card out and putting it in a different phone. If you lose your phone, someone could make unauthorized calls on your account on another handset. The SIM PIN is a lock on the SIM card itself. If you input the SIM PIN wrong three times, the carrier's network locks the SIM and the phone displays an "Enter PUK Code" message.

Why Some Tracfones Don't Require PUK Codes

Unlike most cellular carriers, TracFone does not own their network hardware. They are a cellular reseller that lease space on other carriers' networks. In areas where its leasing partner is T-Mobile or AT&T;, Tracfone sells GSM handsets. In other areas, it sells CDMA handsets. CDMA phones do not use PUK codes because they do not have SIM cards. The network information is stored in the handset's memory, and the phone's serial number is connected to the account on the carrier's network.

Getting the Correct Code

When your LG TracFone prompts you for the PUK code, do not enter any more codes. Even if you enter the correct SIM PIN, the phone will not accept it. You also cannot use an old PUK code to unlock the SIM. The PUK code is randomly generated by the carrier's network when the SIM PIN locks. You will need to get the PUK code from Tracfone. Contact TracFone customer care at 800-867-7183 for the correct code. You can contact customer care from the phone with the locked SIM card, but it's best to call from another line so the representative can walk you through the process of entering the code.

Entering the PUK

Enter the PUK code on the prompt screen with the dial pad. PUK codes are eight digits. On some TracFone handsets, the phone will immediately ask for a new SIM PIN as soon as you enter the PUK code. On other handsets, you must change the code manually. Check the "Settings" menu under "Security." Some LG phones have separate settings for the SIM PIN and handset lock, so make sure you choose the correct lock.