How to Find a Satellite Receiver's RID or CA-ID Number
By Erica Kasper
If you have satellite service for your TV, you have at least one satellite receiver -- generally one unit per TV. Receivers have unique identifiers, such as the receiver ID (RID) number for DirecTV and the CA-ID number for Dish Network, that help the satellite company keep track of which receivers are assigned to each customer. If your satellite company asks you for your receiver’s RID or CA-ID number, the location of that number depends on which satellite service provider you use.
DirecTV Receiver RID Location
If you are a DirecTV customer, examine your receiver. On the front of the unit, you should see an access card door (which may be labeled with the word “open”). Inside that door is the access card for your receiver. On the card, you will find the RID number printed on a label or sticker. The number will be 12 digits long and is usually in very small print. You do not need to remove the access card to see the RID number. If you do not find the RID number here, check the back panel of the unit for a label with identification numbers and bar codes, which may contain the RID number.
Third Party DirecTV Receiver RID Locations
For some DirecTV receiver models, the manufacturer may be a third-party company like Philips, Samsung or Sony. The RID number on these units may be inside the access card door, but more frequently it will be located on a label or sticker placed on the back panel of the unit. Please note: Certain brands and significantly older models of DirecTV receivers (at least seven years old or older) may not have an RID number. As of July 2010, those models are no longer offered or supported by DirecTV, and cannot be activated if you purchase one from a third party.
Dish Network CA-ID Location
Dish Network users can find the CA-ID number by accessing the information category on the unit’s menu screen. To do this, press “menu” on your remote, and then press 611. Your CA-ID number should now be visible, as well as your smart card ID number. The CA-ID number is an 11-digit number that starts with "R." You can also find this number on the back panel of most Dish Network receivers printed on a label or sticker.
Information in this article applies to DirecTV and Dish Network receivers as of November 2013. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.
Erica Kasper has been a professional writer and editor since 1999. Based in Jacksonville, Fla., she has written and edited educational, marketing and web copy for nonprofit organizations, technology companies and online marketing firms. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism (honors) and psychology from Washington and Lee University.