Verizon IMEI check is important if you’re planning on activating a used device on Verizon’s network.
Maybe you’re looking online on eBay or craigslist and want to ensure the device you’re wanting to buy will be able activate and not be on any lost of stolen list also.
There are many resources available on the internet to check your device but many fall short of giving accurate and full results. In addition, it’s important to understand what to look out for so your not stuck with a device that can’t be activated and be left with a fancy paperweight.
Who Needs to Check ESN Numbers for Verizon?
- Those looking to buy a used (or new) device on eBay, Amazon or other online marketplace.
- Local buyers on Craigslist, Kijiji or other online websites that offer advertisements for local transactions.
- If your BYOB (bringing your own device) to Verizon’s postpaid (contact), prepaid service or one of their MVNO providers (Page Plus, Red Pocket etc.)
- Those looking to sell a device that was previously their own.
- Those looking to sell a device that they might have found or “found”.
- Companies or Individuals who buyback phones for resale including cell phone repair shops, eBay sellers etc.
Why It’s Important to Check ESN Numbers for Verizon?
- The value of a device that has a bad ESN, MEID or IMEI on Verizon is significantly less than one with a good ESN Number.
- Why? – Because the device cannot be activated on the Verizon network (postpaid or prepaid).
- If selling online, then the end buyer might become upset on eBay, Amazon or Craigslist and leave bad feedback or file a dispute and/or initiate a charge back.
Verizon ESN vs MEID vs IMEI – What’s the difference?
Verizon runs on the CDMA network, therefore it usually has an ESN number or MEID number. Technically, these numbers are the same and the are simply a calculated variable of one another. Depending on the manufacture and phone model, MEID is usually listed on the back of the phone under the battery. Most likely because this converted ESN number is shorter in length and is easier to fit and requires a smaller bar code.
- A Verizon IMEI is really a technical incorrect word to use since IMEI is related to GSM carrier handset identification. However, it’s often used.
- Even though some Verizon phones include a sim card (usually for the 4G LTE) or come with a GSM slot and are factory unlocked, they all have an ESN/MEID number hard coded into the device.
What Exactly You’re Looking for when Checking a Verizon ESN
- Active on a current line - This is important because if the phone is currently active, the device’s ESN number won’t show as “bad” or “unable to activate”. However the seller after you’ve purchased it from them might not pay their bill or remove the phone from their line which would end up having a bad ESN at a later point in time.
- Lost or Stolen List – The device shouldn’t be on a lost or stolen list. This is the main reason a phone is classified as a “bad ESN”.
- Contract Obligation Fulfilled – The subscriber on Verizon must have fullfilled their contact obligation in regards to acquiring the specific handset being checked.
The above is usually pretty easy to determine. The largest scenario you want to watch out for is when a Verizon device was just recently used!
Where you can check a Verizon ESN or MEID for Accurate Results
Check with Verizon Directly on their ESN Website Checking Tool or Call Into Customer Service
- The best place to check Verizon ESN or MEID numbers is directly with Verizon.
- If you call up, make sure you ask them to check both their DMD (device management database) and the Lost or Stolen List. Ask if the phone was recently deactivated and if their is a possibility the handset could end up turning into a bad ESN device if the user doesn’t pay their bill. They might not give you tons of details and varies by rep but can be done.
- CALL TWICE, MAYBE 3 TIMES! – I can’t stress the importance of this. Depending on the representative, you could get mixed results.
- Before I call, I will check on Verizon’s website
- When checking this site, as long as you enter in the ESN/MEID and click next and do NOT get any sort of error message or trouble page, then the phone should be good to activate.
- If you get ANY mixed result, then call it in.
When I check on their website, I’ll also take a screenshot of the website saying the ESN/MEID is good for activation, which includes the IMEI/ESN number on the page. This way, incase something happens by the time arrives to me if I ordered from eBay or somewhere online and want to activate it at a future point in time, you’ll have some leverage. (I’ve had and they have the ability to cleanse an ESN but is very rare)
Best 3rd Party Websites to Check Verizon ESN/IMEI Numbers
As I said earlier, you can use these for reference but the best place to check is directly with Verizon!
How to find your ESN or MEID Number from your device
This varies by model but is very easy to do and pretty much standard from most devices.
Check Back Cover Under Battery
For devices that have a batter compartment, this is usually under the battery on the manufactures label.
Finding ESN/IMEI/MEID from an Apple iPhone
- You can look on the devices sim card tray. Only do this method if you bought the device new as it’s possible if you bought it used or refurbished that the sim card tray was swapped out or not the original from the device.
- On the back of the device (for iPhone 5, 5s, 5c and future models PAST the iPhone 4s). Again, only do this if it was your original device.
- Lastly, you can find the ESN/MEID/IMEI from with the iPhone settings
- With iPhone connected, click Phone Number to rotate through other device information including MEID, IMEI (when applicable), and ICCID.
- With iPad (Cellular models) connected, click Serial Number to rotate through other device information including CDN, MEID, IMEI (when applicable), and ICCID.
If you have access to your computer, but not your device
- Open iTunes.
- Open Preferences. (In Mac OS X, choose iTunes > Preferences. In Windows, choose Edit > Preferences.)
- Click the Devices tab.
- Position the mouse over a backup to display the serial number of the backed-up device. iPhone and cellular iPad models also display the IMEI/MEID and Cellular Data Number:
- Lastly, you can get this number from the keypad of your iPhone device to get the ESN/IMEI/MEID
Finding the ESN/MEID/IMEI from an Android Device
- Settings>About Phone> Status (it’s usually named “MEID”
Converting MEID to ESN
Many of these techniques will give you the MEID number which may need to be converted, depending on who you’re checking the ESN with or trying to activate the phone through an official post-paid carrier or prepaid MVNO.