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SIM Card FAQs

A SIM card is a smart card inserted into a Verizon Wireless-certified device that stores your unique identification number and personal data, and prevents your device from operating if removed.
 

Learn more about SIMs, including:

General Information

  1. What is a SIM card?

    A Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card is a small "smartcard" that's inserted into a Verizon Wireless-certified 4G or 5G LTE device. The SIM card lets you access our 4G and 5G networks and contains your subscriber profile, which includes details about your plan and features. In order for your new 5G smartphone to access the future enhanced 5G network, you will need a 5G SIM card. Typically your new 5G smartphone is pre-inserted with a 5G SIM already.

  2. If I put a 5G SIM card in a 4G LTE device can I connect to the 5G Ultra Wideband network?

    No. To connect to the 5G Ultra Wideband network you must have a 5G device. If you put a properly activated 5G SIM into a 4G LTE device you will be able to connect to the 4G LTE network but not to the 5G Ultra Wideband network.

    Note: You must activate a 5G SIM card in a compatible 5G device before you can swap it to another device including a 4G LTE device. If you take a previously un-activated 5G SIM from a device and put it in an older 5G device or 4G LTE device, it will not activate correctly.

    What if I put a 4G SIM card in a 5G Ultra Wideband device?

  3. What if I put a 4G SIM card in a 5G Ultra Wideband device?

    If you insert a properly activated 4G SIM into a compatible 5G device, you will be able to connect to the 5G Ultra Wideband network. However, with a 4G SIM, the 5G device might not be able to connect to the future enhanced 5G network.

  4. Where do I get a new or replacement SIM card if I need one?

    Verizon Wireless SIM cards are free for our customers.

    Most devices come with the SIM card already inserted. If you need a new Verizon SIM card for a new line on your account, however, you can:

    • Order online.
      • Have the SIM card mailed to you.
      • Pre-order the SIM card and pick it up at a Verizon Wireless Retail store or Authorized Retailer. Your pick up choices will only include locations for which SIM card pick up is available and that have SIM card inventory.
    • Go to a Verizon Retail store and get the SIM card that day.*
    • Go to select Authorized Retailers and get the SIM card within 3 days.*

    *Keep in mind that for all in-store pickups, the Account Owner or Account Manager has to be there and show a valid, government-issued photo ID.

  5. Is the SIM card capable of storing pictures or documents?

    No, the SIM card has very limited storage, typically 128K to 256K.

    Shop our store for a selection of available memory cards.

  6. How do I activate my SIM service?

    If you ordered a device online or through Customer Service, you'll need to activate your service before you can use it. When activating a new 5G device launched in 2020, we recommend you use the pre-inserted 5G SIM.

    To activate your device, go to the Activate or Switch Device page in My Verizon.

  7. How do I install the SIM card?

    Most devices come with a SIM card already inserted in the device. Follow the activation instructions that came with your device. If you need to insert the SIM card, you should find instructions in the SIM packaging, or you can also refer to the User Guide that came with the device.

  8. Are my 4G LTE or 5G SIM cards compatible with any existing Verizon Wireless 3G device?

    No, 4G LTE and 5G SIM cards are only compatible with Verizon Wireless-Certified 4G LTE and 5G devices.

  9. Is my 4G LTE SIM card compatible with any other provider's device?

    It's unlikely. You may be able to take a Verizon Wireless device to another carrier and get a new SIM card with that carrier. However, you would have to check compatibility with the carrier first.

  10. Is my 5G SIM card compatible with any other provider's 5G device?

    No, not at this time.

  11. Can I use my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE SIM in more than 1 device?

    Yes, the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE SIM card contains all of your subscriber information, so the SIM card is portable and can be used in any Verizon Wireless-certified 4G LTE device. All usage will be billed to the account associated with the 4G LTE SIM card.

  12. Can I use my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE or 5G SIM card in a 4G LTE device not purchased from Verizon Wireless?

    5G SIM cards can not be used in a device from another carrier.

    You can use your Verizon Wireless 4G LTE SIM card in any device, as long as it is a Verizon Wireless-certified 4G LTE device. View the Bring Your Own Device page to find out if your device is compatible with your SIM card and explore eligible price plans. Once you've activated your SIM card on an eligible plan, you'll need to insert it in your device.

    If you're not sure how to insert a SIM card into your device, you can refer to your device's User Guide or one of our simulators.

    Note: Your SIM card may already be activated. If you removed it from another active device and didn't deactivate it, then it's still active. All you need to do is insert it in your new device.

  13. How do I secure my SIM card?

    The Verizon Wireless SIM card can be secured by using a Personal Identification Number (PIN). Using the SIM PIN can prevent unauthorized usage of your device. The SIM PIN is disabled by default, but you can create your own PIN on your device. The steps to do this on each device may vary, but you'll likely find the option to set up a SIM PIN in the Security menu of your device's settings.

    Once created, you'll need to enter the PIN before you can use the device. The PIN will be requested when you turn your device on for the first time or if the SIM card is transferred from one Verizon Wireless-Certified device to another.

  14. I have a SIM PIN, but I cannot remember it. What do I do now?

    Go to the My Devices page in My Verizon and click My PIN and Unblocking PUK in the right column. Here you can view your SIM PIN and PUK.

    If you've already entered the PIN 3 times unsuccessfully, you'll need to obtain the PIN Unblocking Key (PUK) online (i.e., through My Verizon, My Business Account or Verizon Enterprise Center).

    Note: If the PUK is entered incorrectly 10 times, the SIM card will no longer work and must be replaced.

  15. What care should be taken in handling the SIM card?

    Tips for handling the SIM card:

    • Avoid touching the gold contacts as much as possible.
    • Don't bend the SIM card.
    • The gold contacts must be aligned correctly to the gold contacts on the device. An angled cut-off notch on the SIM card indicates the orientation of the SIM to the device.
    • If the SIM card is incorrectly inserted, or an incompatible SIM is inserted, you should see an error message, such as "SIM Card Failure" or "No SIM card inserted. Please insert SIM card."
    • Keep the SIM card clean and dry at all times.
    • Avoid extreme temperatures and magnetic fields.