Steps to Activate a Prepaid Verizon Wireless Phone

By Michelle Carvo

Updated September 21, 2017

Verizon Wireless prepaid accounts can be activated and refilled online.
i Eric Thayer/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Verizon Wireless allows you to bring your own device or purchase one of their phones to use on their prepaid plans. How to activate your Verizon prepaid cell phone depends entirely on whether or not you bring your own device.

Online Activation

The first step of the prepaid activation process is to purchase a prepaid plan online. Verizon offers plans ranging from a 3GB data limit to unlimited data. All plans include unlimited talk and text as well as a mobile hotspot option. Select a plan on the Verizon Wireless Prepaid Plan section of the site and choose whether or not to purchase a Verizon phone or to bring your own device. The next step of the online activation process depends on which option you select.

Purchasing a Device Through Verizon

Verizon offers a variety of smartphones and basic cell phones that are compatible with their prepaid plans. These include Apple and Android smartphones and range in price from $49.99 to $200+ for Apple’s iPhones. Select your cell phone and prepaid plan online. Once your cell phone arrives within 2-3 business days, you can activate it on your prepaid Verizon plan.

Bringing Your Own Device

You can bring your own device to Verizon’s prepaid plan if it is a CDMA network ready device. You can check this by going to the phone’s settings section and checking the network type. The device should also be 4G LTE capable to utilize Verizon’s top network speeds. You can also use Verizon’s online activation tool to check if your device is compatible with Verizon.

Select the “Bring My Own Device” option when signing up for Verizon’s prepaid plan and type in the device ID to proceed with the process. Verizon will mail you a SIM card that is tied to your prepaid service plan.

Activation Once You Receive Your Phone or SIM Card

The activation process varies depending on whether or not you purchased a new phone. If you did not purchase a new phone, you need turn off your existing phone, insert the Verizon SIM card and then power the device back on. The phone should automatically activate. Call Verizon if service is not active on the phone within 15 minutes of turning the device on.

Devices purchased through Verizon already have the SIM card installed so you only need to turn the device on to complete the prepaid activation process. Call Verizon or visit a local Verizon store if the device does not successfully activate.

Refill Prepaid Accounts

Keep service active on your phone by refilling your Verizon prepaid account. Refill your account by calling *611 from your phone or by adding money to the account on the Verizon website. Verizon also allows you to refill your account at most local Verizon stores.