Do I Have to Buy My TracFone in My Home Area?


"Hi Keith,

I found your website while doing some research on buying a trac fone and I thought maybe you can answer a question for me. If I buy the trac fone here at home (New Jersey), but it is not be activiated until it gets to Tenneesee, will the phone number be a Tennesse exchange or a New Jersey exchange.

Thanks, Nicole"


When you activate a TracFone, you have to enter a zipcode for the area where it will be used the most. That is how they decide what local number they will assign you.

You might run into problems, however, if you buy your phone in one state but try to activate it in another, because the phone would be programmed to work with the local cellular carrier in the state where you bought it.

You might be able to pull it off, but I would think it would cause problems. Remember, TracFone doesn't own any of their own cellular towers, but they lease time from local cellular providers across the country.

You can get roaming service across the USA, but wouldn't necessarily be able to use the same phone to get a local number in different areas of the country.

Let me make my standard dislaimer that I am not an employee of TracFone, so the above is only my opinion and not the official TracFone answer. You would really have to call them to find out for sure about your particular situation: 1-800-867-7183.

Also, if you move from one area to another and your phone is not able to be assigned a local number in your new home area, TracFone will exchange it for a new phone. Click here to learn more.

In general, though, it's best to buy your phone in the same area where it will be used the most.

Click here to return to the TracFone Questions and Answers page.

Click here to return to the Fone-Review home page