You may find that your VoIP or virtual PBX provider doesn’t best serve your needs and you want to take your number with you to a new provider.
Below, we’re going to run through general guidelines related to number porting and follow up with various specifics for porting in and out of the most popular VoIP and hosted PBX providers on the market. The list is alphabetized to make it easy, if you prefer to skip straight to a specific provider's directions.
Can you port your business number to a phone service provider?
Just about every VoIP or PBX provider in the market has the capability to port numbers with only a few exceptions. The most common setbacks in the process relate to price and the time required to complete the exchange between the old and new provider. Number porting breaks down into three core categories, based on the type of phone number to be ported.
- Ported numbers – A number you “brought with you” from another provider is considered your property thus, it can be ported to a provider where applicable.
- Toll-free numbers – In the US, these numbers are managed by a Responsible Organization (RespOrg) that maintain databases of such numbers and is subject to regulation of the FCC. By law, these numbers are required to be portable to new service providers.
- Assigned numbers – If a service provider issued you a new phone number when you signed up for service, they may not want to release it after cancelling a contract. Legally, a phone number is considered your property and can’t be retained, even if issued by the provider you’re leaving.
Key points to keep in mind when porting
Thanks to NPAC and their partnership with the FCC and CRTC, porting your number is possible between regular carriers and VoIP providers. However, there are a handful of pain points to consider, regardless of your new and existing providers.
- Sometimes fees are required – Although regulatory agencies don’t charge to transfer a number, old and new providers may assess a fee to cover administrative costs. Some companies charge but may waive the fee, while others port existing numbers at no charge.
- Outstanding charges are irrelevant – You should eventually settle with an old provider however, a balance owed will not affect number porting eligibility.
- Don’t cancel your old service before the port completes – In some cases, terminating service quickly returns your number to a pool of unassigned numbers at your existing provider. This makes it more difficult or impossible to transfer (e.g., you cancel service and your number is immediately assigned to a new customer) between providers.
- Duplicate numbers aren’t allowed but might happen for a short period – During the transfer process, while an account is active between two providers, this can disrupt service, especially for inbound calls when nationals routing systems still send a call to an inactive service for a short time. Also, this can affect 911 services in some cases.
- Porting periods can vary - The FCC mandates that “simple ports” take as little as one day. However, transferring different kinds of numbers (e.g., a landline to a VoIP provider) or between two virtual PBX providers can take longer. In the case of the latter, there is typically another party on both ends involved in the process which causes the process to take longer, sometimes as long as three weeks.
- Using a temporary number during the porting process – Recognizing the transfer process may take some time as well as create some odd operational issues, many companies will assign a temporary number to use in the meantime if you’re not already using a number furnished by your new provider.
One thing to note: Despite the fact companies are legally obligated to transfer a number doesn't always mean they'll make it easy. Make sure to review the porting section in your current contract prior to tranferring your number to a new service provider.
Provider-specific porting directions
In the following section, we will look at excerpts from the policies of most major service providers in the US and Canada with respect to number porting. Porting a number to (or away from) a provider is handled a little differently for each, often requiring a form to be filled out and a copy of a recent bill to be submitted before the process will initiate.
Porting in: No charge is indicated to port a number to 1-VoIP. Contact customer service at (888) – 369 – 8647 for more information.
Porting out: The company will transfer your number(s) to a new a provider at no cost, so long as the new provider is willing to accept a ported number.
“Yes, in most cases your phone number can be ported to your VoIP service (porting means to transfer your number from one telephone company to another). Please contact customer service to check on your specific number’s portability. If we can confirm that it can be ported or you have already confirmed this…”
To learn more about number porting at 1-VoIP, click here.
Porting in: Porting a number requires filling out an authorization form after starting service at which point, a temporary number is assigned then swapped out once the process completes. Contact customer service at (800) – 800 – 4321 for more information.
Porting out: There is a $100 fee to port a number out of 800.com for plans below the Starter Plan or less than 6 months old.
"There is a $100 port out fee if the number is less than 6 months at 800.com or is on an unpublished package below the “Starter” plan. To purchase number to directly port out with no plans of service, please contact sales for a activation quote."
To learn more about number porting at 800.com, click here.
Porting out: Numbers ported out of 8x8 will be subject to $5 fee for each number which will be appended to the final bill.
“8x8 makes every attempt to work with all telephone service providers across the United States; however certain local or regional guidelines may preclude us from being able to transfer your number to 8x8. In such cases, a new number from 8x8 would be provided. In most cases, we can transfer your number within 10 business days from when you submit the number transfer request, provided that all the correct information and documentation is submitted, including a correctly filled out Letter of Authorization (LOA) and the correct Billing Telephone Number (BTN)...”
To learn more about number porting at 8x8, click here.
Porting out: So long as a new provider accepts the number, AXvoice will release the number(s) at no charge.
“With AXvoice Broadband Phone Service you can continue using your existing phone number. To check if your number is portable please send us your number at sales@AXvoice.com
Number Porting process may take upto 3-4 weeks.
You will be assigned a temporary number till we complete this process.
In the next step of signup process you will be required to choose a temporary number. You may keep this number as your secondary number when porting of your number is completed.
It is very important that you use the AXvoice Phone Service and are satisfied before ordering number porting...”
To learn more about number porting at Axvoice, click here.
Porting in: No charge is assessed to port a number to eVoice. Contact customer service at (877) – 581 – 5789 for more information.
Porting out: The eVoice Customer Agreement claims they will transfer numbers ported in as well as toll-free numbers but are the “customer of record” for numbers they assign and therefore, reserve the right to keep these numbers. The company will attempt to collect $500 in damages if you attempt to transfer a number, should you fall in non-protected jurisdiction of FCC regulations.
“Yes, you can port your existing number into eVoice.
Once you complete your order, you will be emailed paperwork to finalize the porting process. In the meantime, you can start using eVoice with a temporary number that will be emailed to you after you sign up.
Do I own my eVoice number?
If you use a local number, no. While your eVoice® account is active, the local number will be assigned exclusively to you. But if the account is closed, the number is returned to eVoice® and is no longer accessible to you. If you have a toll-free number, it can be ported out of eVoice.
Any numbers ported into eVoice can be ported out if you decide to close your eVoice account. Please note we currently do not port international numbers into or out of eVoice.”
To learn more about number porting at eVoice, click here.
Porting in: A one-time fee of $30 may be assessed to port a number to FreedomVoice but is eligible to be waived under a wide variety of conditions. Contact customer service at (800) – 477 – 1477 for more information and use this digital form to complete the process.
Porting out: FreedomVoice will port out regular numbers but claims to be the registered “Toll Free Subscriber” recognized by Resp Orgs and do not guarantee the portability of toll free numbers.
“Can I transfer an existing phone number to use as my CloudNumber?
Yes! If you already have a local or toll free phone number with another carrier, we will work with you to move that number over. Once you’re signed up with any CloudNumber service, we can begin immediately…
Can I transfer my CloudNumber to another provider?
Of course. While we would hate to see you go, your CloudNumber local or toll free number(s) are yours to take to the provider of your choice should you choose to leave. Contact your new provider for instructions on how to start this transfer…”
To learn more about number porting at FreedomVoice, click here.
Porting out: Grasshopper claims to only have the capability of porting a number to companies with a relationship to their underlying carrier, Voxbone.
“Make sure that your local number is eligible for transfer. If ANY of the conditions below are true for the number you want to transfer, the number is NOT eligible for transfer just yet. You’ll need to correct these issues with your existing carrier before being eligible to transfer the number to Grasshopper…”
To learn more about number porting at Grasshopper, click here.
Porting in: No charge is indicated to port a number to Halloo. Contact customer service at (888) – 238 – 3822 for more information.
Porting out: A $50 charge when transferring away a number currently in use although it can be waived under some conditions, so long as all outstanding fees have been paid.
“To port your current local number from another carrier or service provider to Halloo, you must complete Letter of Agency (LOA) form. This LOA authorizes Halloo to act on your behalf to move your telephone number to Halloo and to provide you with enhanced telephone services.”
To learn more about number porting at Halloo, click here.
Porting out: New DIDs are not eligible for transfer until after 30 days from the start of new service. All numbers will be ported to new providers but customers are still responsible for closing out their account and paying all expenses.
“There is a 99% chance that you will be able to port your number to ITP. The process takes approximately 10 days to complete.”
To learn more about number porting at ITP, click here.
Porting in: No charge is assessed to port a number to Jive. Contact customer service at (877) – 548 – 3007 for more information.
Porting out: No clause is included under the Jive Terms of Service indicating any fees or conditions for porting a number to a provider, implying requests will be granted for transfer to any provider accepting transferred numbers.
“Jive allows customers to transfer their existing numbers from previous providers to their new Jive system. Number transfers can be rejected due to any inaccurate information given in the request—so be sure to follow this checklist closely. Doing so will yield a successful transfer with quicker turnaround.”
To learn more about number porting at Jive, click here.
Porting in: No charge is mentioned to port most number to Line2 although some local and vanity numbers will require a $20 fee while transferring fax number will cost $25. Contact customer service at (888) – 613 – 6357 for more information.
Porting out: No charge is indicated for porting a number away from Line2. Customers still have the responsibility of canceling service after a number transfer completes.
“Line2 is a VoIP service and will NOT replace your existing cellular service. If you are transferring your existing cellular number, you will need to ask your cellular carrier to assign you a new number to maintain cellular functionality.
The number you are transferring will REPLACE your existing Line2 number. Line2 Pro subscribers, make sure you are logged into the number you want to replace when you initiate the request.”
To learn more about number porting at Line2, click here.
Porting in: No charge is assessed to port a number to MegaPath. Contact customer service at (800) – 917 – 9188 for more information.
Porting out: Megapath attempts to follow all guidelines set by the FCC and will transfer any number, free of charge.
“If porting numbers, customer may set up call forwarding to MegaPath temporary numbers in preparation for porting. For Analog Lines or Trunking, schedule PBX tech to complete interconnect of PBX equipment on port date. For Hosted Voice, once service is activated, customer initiates porting request via self-porting tool in MegaPath Customer Portal http://my.megapath.com. Once port is confirmed to be complete, move forward with canceling service with previous provider.”
To learn more about number porting at MegaPath, click here.
Porting out: No clause is included under the Mitel or ShorTel Terms of Service indicating any fees or conditions for porting a number to a provider, implying requests will be granted for transfer to any provider accepting transferred numbers.
“Different forms are required depending on whether you are porting local and long distance phone numbers, or porting toll-free phone numbers. Authorized Contacts should use the instructions below for the types of phone numbers you need to port to Mitel from other telecom service providers to your ShoreTel Sky account…
If you are an Authorized Contact for a ShoreTel Sky account, you can utilize the ShoreTel Sky Portal to submit a request to transfer (port) phone numbers from other telecom service providers to your ShoreTel Sky account…”
To learn more about number porting at Mitel and ShoreTel, click here.
Porting out: Nextiva attempts to follow all guidelines set by the FCC and will transfer any number, free of charge.
“Porting can take 2-4 weeks to complete. You will need to fill out paperwork (a LOA) and submit a recent bill from the losing end provider to start. Any issues with the paperwork, or if you have overdue billing with the previous provider, can delay the port. During this time, you will have service with both Nextiva and your previous provider. You are encouraged to set up your Nextiva phone system using the temporary numbers assigned to you prior to the completion of porting…”
To learn more about number porting at Nextiva, click here.
Porting in or out: Information specific to porting is not disclosed on the public company website – the quoted information below was uncovered promptly after sending an email to their sales team. Contact customer service at (800) – 805 – 0558 or email email@example.com for more information.
“With each Seat you receive 1 free port for a local number. If you had 10 employees with 10 separate phone numbers that would need to be ported over, those 10 numbers would be free.
I would be happy to show you how our pricing works. Most customers appreciate the simple way our pricing is laid out compared to the competition.”
Porting in: No charge is assessed to port a number to Phone.com. Contact customer service at (844) – 746 – 6312 for more information.
Porting out: Phone.com will port out numbers but indicates each may be subject to a “port-out” fee which is not disclosed.
“NOTE: Please be aware that LNP (Local Number Porting) averages 10-15 business days to complete but can take as long as 60 days. As much as we would love to port your number over immediately the LNP "Authorities" requires a copy of your current bill and is reliant on the acceptance of the transfer by your exiting LEC (Local Exchange Carrier) or cell phone company. Please check with your provider BEFORE initiating a port request to make sure the number is FULLY portable. We cannot override any freezes or account holds your provider may place on your number.”
To learn more about number porting at Phone.com, click here.
Porting in: No charge is assessed to port a number to RingCentral. The process can be handled completely online by following these steps.
Porting out: RingCentral attempts to follow all guidelines set by the FCC and will transfer any number, free of charge. The company asks that customer service is contacted prior to porting away more than 100 numbers.
“Customer must keep the its existing service active in order to port a phone number to RingCentral.
In order to request the porting of a telephone or facsimile number into an Account, the Account Administrator for the Account into which you wish the telephone or facsimile number to be ported must log in to the Admin Portal for such Account and complete all steps and provide all information requested as part of the number port-in request process (which may include without limitation providing an executed Letter of Agency) or as otherwise requested by RingCentral…”
To learn more about number porting at RingCentral, click here.
Porting in: No charge is assessed to port a number to Telzio. Contact customer service at (888) – 998 – 9080 for more information.
Porting out: No clause is included under the Telzio Terms of Service indicating any fees or conditions for porting a number to a provider. A Telzio blog calls attention to FCC requirements for number portability, implying the company adheres to these rules when transferring a number.
“Telzio enables you to keep your existing phone numbers and seamlessly switch providers with no downtime. Porting phone numbers can take anywhere from 1 to 10 business days, depending on the losing carrier.”
To learn more about number porting at Telzio, click here.
Porting out: VirtualPBX will transfer your number(s) to a new a provider at no cost, so long as the new provider is willing to accept a ported number.
“To port your number over to VirtualPBX you will need to fill out an LOA Form. This form, once completed, serves as a record of transfer between your toll-free or local number carrier and VirtualPBX…
Note: Please make sure to sign and date the form before you send your fax. Incomplete or inaccurate forms can not be processed and will delay the porting of your number. Processing of toll-free ports usually requires 3 to 5 business days while local number ports typically require 10 to 20 business days. Further porting information can be found below…”
To learn more about number porting at VirtualPBX, click here.
Porting out: VoIP.ms will port all numbers to accepting providers but may charge an undisclosed fee for a number assigned by the company.
“The first thing you will need to provide to us is the Service Address of the number(s) you wish to port. This is the address where you will be using the number(s) and where you would like your E911 services to be listed. Even virtual numbers have a service address listed on the losing carrier’s side.
The service address will help us to fill up the Letter of Authorization (LOA). This form will be sent to our carrier to process your order.
In order to fill out this form, we will need the following information from you: Company Name (if applicable), Service Address (as it is listed with your current carrier), Service Provider Name, Number to port, Billing Telephone Number (BTN): This is the main billing number on your account that all of your numbers may be listed under. Please note that it is possible to have several different BTN's depending on how your account is set up.
Also, you will need to submit a hand-signed copy of your most recent billing invoice from your current phone provider.”
To learn more about number porting at VoIP.ms, click here.
Porting out: No clause is included under the VOIPo Terms of Service indicating any fees or conditions for porting a number to a provider, implying requests will be granted for transfer to any provider accepting transferred numbers.
“We are able to port your existing number at no additional cost. Please note that the process will take 1-2 weeks, and in extreme scenarios it may take up to 45 days.
The account / number must remain active at the previous provider until the porting/transfer process has been completed…”
To learn more about number porting at VOIPo, click here.
Porting out: Vonage will not charge a fee to port any number from their service to an accepting provider and will automatically cancel your service once the transfer completes.
“In many situations, it is possible to transfer phone numbers including toll-free numbers to your Vonage Business phone system. Porting both your normal business numbers and toll-free numbers to Vonage Business may take up to 20 business days, but it can be completed without any service interruptions. During that time, Vonage will provide you with a temporary number. If your phone numbers are available to transfer, there is no charge to bring them with you when you switch your service.”
To learn more about number porting at Vonage, click here.