Does Verizon Lock Phones? (Your Full Guide)

If you’re thinking about switching to Verizon for the excellent coverage it offers all over the United States, you might be wondering: does Verizon lock its phones?

If you’d like to learn the answer, continue reading this article to see what I discovered on this topic!

Does Verizon Lock Phones In [currentyear]?

Verizon locks it’s phones for 60 days after you’ve purchased the device, including devices that are purchased by authorized retailers, such as Best Buy. Verizon will automatically unlock your device after 60 days as long as the phone hasn’t been reported stolen or lost in [currentyear]. However, there are exceptions to this policy, including for deployed military service members.

Do you want to know more details about the Verizon phone lock process, including if Verizon locks phones for other reasons if you’re a customer? If so, read below to find out all that and more!

Why Does Verizon Lock Phones?

Verizon locks it’s phones to help prevent fraud and theft, and to help prevent those activities, Verizon will lock all recently purchased devices for 60 days.

However, after those 60 days, your phone will be unlocked automatically, as long as that device hasn’t been reported lost or stolen or your account hasn’t been flagged for suspicious activity.

How Can I Tell If My Verizon Phone is Unlocked?

There are several ways you can tell if your Verizon phone is unlocked, but one of the easiest ways is to go into the Settings of your device and follow these steps if you have iOS:

  • Go into Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data
  • You want to look for “Cellular Data Network,” and if you can see this then your device is almost guaranteed to be unlocked

Since Android has many different phone manufacturers, the process might be a little different depending on which device you own, but generally following these below steps will work:

  • Select Settings > Connections > Mobile Networks
  • Next, click Network Operators > Search Now to see if you can see other carriers besides Verizon
  • You’ll know your device is unlocked if you see multiple carrier names under this section

Also, you can simply try putting in a SIM card from a carrier besides Verizon if you have one, and if you can make calls or send messages, then your device is unlocked.

Can Verizon Customer Service Tell You if Your Phone is Locked?

Can Verizon Customer Service Tell You if Your Phone is Locked?

You can choose to call Verizon customer service to see if your phone is unlocked if you don’t want to go through the other methods of checking your device.

However, Verizon customer service cannot unlock the device for you if you’re still inside of that 60-day window, but they can at least confirm the existence of a lock on that device.

How Do You Unlock a Locked Verizon Phone?

You cannot unlock a locked Verizon phone yourself, as the phone cannot be unlocked until you’ve met the requirements per the Device Unlocking Policy Verizon has in place.

Additionally, the unlocking process automatically happens after the 60-day threshold, regardless of whether you purchased the device from Verizon directly or a retail partner.

However, if you’re in the military and are going to be deployed to a location where Verizon doesn’t have coverage, you can contact Verizon and get an early unlock.

How Do I Check If My Verizon Phone is Unlocked by IMEI?

The first step is to find the IMEI number if you want to see if your Verizon phone is unlocked using the IMEI.

For Apple devices, go into Settings > General > About. You should see an IMEI section and there will be a 15-digit number you’ll need to write down.

Likewise, on Android, you’ll need to go into “Settings” and then click on “About Device,” where you should see “Status” and then a section for IMEI (this will also be 15-digits long).

Afterward, go to either the Verizon website which has an IMEI checker, or use a website such as OfficialSimUnlock, and enter the details to see if your phone is unlocked using the IMEI number.

It’s important to note that using a website to check the IMEI number doesn’t always give you an accurate reading of whether the phone is unlocked, so it’s not the best method to use. 

Does Verizon Lock Unpaid Phones?

Verizon does lock unpaid phones using the IMEI number, which is called a blacklisted phone, and this will prevent you from using the phone to make calls, send texts, or use the internet.

However, the lock for non-payment is only for the Verizon network, so you could still take that phone and get a new carrier that isn’t Verizon, but there’s no guarantee it’ll work.

To know more about Verizon, you can also read our posts on whether or not Verizon offers unlimited data, where you can return Verizon equipment, and if Verizon phones will work on T-Mobile.


Verizon locks phones initially for 60 days after purchase and the phones cannot be unlocked by the customer beforehand, unless the customer is in the military and being deployed.

However, after 60 days phones are automatically unlocked and you can easily verify your phone is unlocked by looking for other cellular network operators or by calling customer service.

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Florence Howard

Florence Howard has been freelance writing for over a decade, and has a vocational background in retail, tech, and marketing. Outside of work, she enjoys listening to rock and metal, and playing with her dog and cat.

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