How to Transfer a Landline Number in 3 Steps

So, you want to transfer your landline number?

You want to transfer your landline number to a cell phone. That makes sense: you’ve had the number for decades, it’s registered in multiple places, and the convenience of a cell phone is hard to beat. You might also be relocating or canceling your current service and need a way to keep your number.

Consolidating your landline doesn’t have to a hassle. In fact, it could save you hundreds a year by getting rid of service you don’t need without losing the number you’ve had for decades.

In this blog post, we will walk through the three steps to keeping your landline number.

  • Step 1: Find an option for keeping your landline number,
  • Step 2: Check if your number is eligible to be transferred,
  • Step 3: Transfer before your cancel

Step 1: Choose an Option for Keeping Your Number

Technology has made landlines redundant, but saving your landline number is still a challenging problem. Some say transferring is impossible, but by the end of this article, you’ll be helping the skeptics move their landline numbers too.

There are two options for transferring a landline number to a cell phone.

  1. Sign up for a Wireless plan: Sign up for a wireless plan with any cell phone carrier, and have that carrier port the landline number onto a new cell phone.
  2. Sign up for a Call Forwarding plan: Simply move the number to a service that offers Call Forwarding, and forward inbound calls to a cell phone you already use.

Let’s talk about the differences between these two options.

Option 1: Sign up for a Wireless Plan ($40/month)

Most of the major carriers (AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint) will let you move your landline number onto a cell phone with their cellular plans.

A wireless plan is an excellent route if you need your landline number to be on a unique separate cell phone. It’s also quite expensive and requires that you buy a completely different cell phone from the one you already have.


  • Great if you need your landline number to be on a unique cell phone.
  • Great if you don’t already have a cell phone. You can just make your landline number your cell phone!


  • Expensive, standard cellular plans can range from $30-$70 a month, depending on your usage needs.
  • Difficult to setup. You usually have to switch at a retail location.
  • Requires you carry around another cell phone if you already have one.

Best Carriers

  • AT&T
  • T-Mobile.

Option 2:  Sign up for a Call Forwarding Plan ($11/month)

Sometimes receiving calls from your landline number on your current cell phone is enough. With Call Forwarding, you can do precisely that.

Call Forwarding is a service that lets you store your landline number digitally and then have all calls forwarded to any cell phone number.  That means you can receive your landline calls right on your existing cell phone, without having to get a new phone, cellular plan, or annoying hardware.

Call Forwarding’s cost can vary, but in most cases, it is cheaper than your current landline service.

To learn more about call forwarding, visit NumberDock.


  • Cheaper than a wireless plan.
  • Easy to setup
  • No new cell phone required – all calls forwarded to your existing cell phone.
  • Transfer your number online in minutes—no visit to the retail store.


  • You can’t make outbound calls from your landline number.
  • Your landline and cell phone voicemail become the same.

Step 2: Check if Your Landline Number is Eligible to be Transferred

Since most landline providers don’t provide wireless service, you will likely need to move your number away from your current service provider. Unfortunately, not all landline numbers are eligible to be transferred or  “ported” to a new provider.

To check if your landline is eligible to be transferred to a new provider, call your current provider and ask them for your landline number’s porting information.

If they can provide you the following, it means your landline number is eligible.

  • Account Number
  • PIN Number

What does “Porting” mean?

Porting is just an industry term for moving a telephone number from one carrier/provider

to another.

Step 3: Transfer Before You Cancel

Let’s just talk about why it’s essential to transfer your landline number to a new provider before canceling with your current one.

Every day folks try to move their number after they canceled service with their old landline provider. 99% of the time, you can’t get your number back because your carrier already sold it to someone else.

When you begin the porting process with a new provider, they will keep you informed on your port’s status. Make sure to cancel your current service only once you’re sure your number has been successfully ported to your new carrier. Canceling your service in the middle of the porting process can cause delays or, in the worst case, result in the loss of your number.


In conclusion, you have two options when transferring your landline number to a cell phone. You can either set up the number on a standard cellular plan or use Call Forwarding to have the calls routed to your existing cell phone.

Make sure to remember to check if your number is eligible to be moved in the first place, and also that you transfer it before you cancel!

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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