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SIM Card FAQs

Learn how you can get a new SIM card for your device and how to activate it on the Verizon mobile network.

To learn about eSIMs and Dual SIMS go to the eSIM FAQs page.

General Information

  1. What is a SIM card?

    A Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card is a small memory card that's inserted into a Verizon certified 4G LTE or 5G device. The SIM card lets you access our 4G LTE and 5G networks.

    This SIM card has very limited storage, typically 128K to 256K, and cannot be used to store photos or documents.

    Shop our store for a selection of available memory cards for storage of personal files.

  2. How do I install a 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 device User Guide or use one of our simulators to learn how.

  3. How do I activate my SIM card?

    To activate a device with a pre-installed SIM or to activate a replacement SIM, go to the Activate or Switch Device page in My Verizon.

    Note: When activating a new 5G device launched in 2020, we recommend you use the pre-inserted 5G SIM.

  4. How do I order a new or replacement SIM card if I need one?

    Verizon SIM cards are free for our customers.

    Most devices come with the SIM card already inserted. If you need a new Verizon SIM card you can:

    • Order online.
      • Have the SIM card mailed to you.
      • Pre-order the SIM card and pick it up at a Verizon Retail store or Authorized Retailer. Your pick up choices will only include locations where SIM card pick up is available.
    • 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. Can I switch a 3G, 4G LTE or 5G SIM from a certified Verizon device into a device on a different Verizon network?

    Not all previously activated SIMs are compatible with all devices on the Verizon network.

    See the chart below to find out whether you can move a SIM from one device to another.

    You can also visit the Bring Your Own Device page to find out if your device is compatible with your SIM card and explore eligible price plans.

    If SIM is activated as And inserted in this device
    Then
    3G 4G LTE or 5G
    These devices are not compatible with a 3G SIM
    4G LTE 5G Device connects to the 5G Ultra Wideband network, but may not connect to the future enhanced 5G network
    4G LTE or 5G
    3G These SIMs are not compatible with 3G devices
    5G 4G LTE Device connects to 4G LTE network but will not connect to the 5G Ultra Wideband network

    Note: You must activate your SIM card in the original device before switching it to a new device. 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.

    All usage will be billed to the account associated with the SIM card.

  6. Is my 4G LTE SIM or 5G SIM card compatible with any other provider's device?

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

  7. Can I use my Verizon 4G LTE SIM or 5G SIM in more than one Verizon certified device?

    The Verizon 4G LTE SIM or 5G SIM card contains all of your subscriber information, so the SIM card is portable and can be used in any compatible Verizon certified device. Check this chart for SIM compatibility.

    However, when you purchase a new device we recommend that you use the new SIM provided to ensure the best network experience.

  8. How do I secure my SIM card?

    The Verizon SIM card can be secured by using a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to prevent unauthorized use of the SIM card in a 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.

    The PIN will be requested when you turn your device on for the first time after setting the SIM PIN or when the SIM card is transferred from one Verizon certified device to another.

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

    Go to the My Devices page in My Verizon, click on your device and then select PIN and Personal Unblocking Key (PUK) to view your SIM PIN and PUK.

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

    If you choose a unique PIN and forget the PIN code Verizon cannot retrieve that new PIN.

  10. What is the SIM Personal Unblocking Key (PUK)?

    The PUK is required to unlock a SIM if an incorrect PIN is entered too many times. If the PUK is entered incorrectly more than 3 times, the SIM card will no longer work and must be replaced.

  11. 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.