How do I do the annual recertification of my phone?

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One of the questions we’re asked most often by readers who already have their free government cell phones is, “How to I do my annual recertification?” This is important information, because if you don’t complete an annual recertification with your free government cell phone company, your service will be suspended.

At least once per year of service, you are required to re-certify yourl eligibility to participate in the Lifeline program. You may be asked to re-certify at other times, such as during the FCC’s recent hunt for fraudulent accounts, but generally will be just once a year, prior to your anniversary date. With the exception of some states, unlike the initial application procedure, you will not need to provide supporting documentation of program eligibility. There is no additional charge for re-certifying.

The phone providers are required by law to contact you prior to the expiration date of your eligibility. You will receive a text message, phone call, or a letter informing you that you must re-certify with them. You must respond within sixty (60) days after being notified. If you fail to respond, or you respond and the phone company is unable to verify your eligibility thru a state eligibility database, you will no longer be able to participate in the Lifeline program and you will lose your free Lifeline service or your Lifeline discount if you have discounted Lifeline service.

You will be required to submit certain information to perform the recertification. Of course you’ll need your phone number, and you may need the PIN number (or password) that you were originally assigned. You may be asked for any of the following:

  • Your current address
  • Your former address (if you’ve moved since you got your free government cell phone)
  • Your date of birth
  • Your social security number
  • The name of the qualifying government assistance program in which you participate OR your total household income.

We’ve written up the procedures for the main free government cell phone companies, below. Some companies have a convenient way for you to re-certify your Lifeline phone online. Unfortunately, most do not. We’ve provided the link for those who do allow online Lifeline recertification; and we’ve provided notes for the others. If you don’t do it online, you will either do it over the phone or by mailing in a recertification form they will mail you.

Following is an example of what a recertification page looks like:

Assurance Wireless Recertification

Access Wireless Recertification

No online recertification process. Wait until they call, text or mail you and then follow their instructions.

American Assistance Recertification

No online recertification process. Wait until they call, text or mail you and then follow their instructions.

Assist Wireless Recertification

If you know when it’s time to re-certify, or if you’ve received notice from Assist Wireless, you can easily re-certify online here.

Assurance Wireless Recertification

If you know when it’s time to re-certify, or if you’ve received notice from Assurance Wireless, you can easily re-certify online here.

AT&T Mobility Recertification

No online re-certification process. Wait until they call, text or mail you and then follow their instructions.

Blue Jay Wireless Recertification

No online re-certification process. Wait until they call, text or mail you and then follow their instructions.

Budget Mobile Recertification

If you know when it’s time to re-certify, or if you’ve received notice from Budget Mobile, you can easily re-certify online here.

Cintex Wireless

No online recertification process. Wait until they call, text or mail you and then follow their instructions.

Easy Wireless Recertification

The site says to click on the “Re-certify your Lifeline Eligibility” link, but there is no such link. You’ll have to wait until they call, text or write you and follow the instructions. You can also re-certify by using your Easy Wireless phone to call our automated phone line at 611 or 1-877-476-3451 and follow the prompts.

EnTouch Recertification

No online recertification process. Wait until they call, text or mail you and then follow their instructions. But you can directly download, complete and mail/fax back the this recertification form to re-certify.

Feel Safe Wireless Recertification

The site says to click on the “Annual Certification” link, but there is no such link. You’ll have to wait until they call, text or write you and follow the instructions.

Life Wireless Recertification

No online recertification process. Wait until they call, text or mail you and then follow their instructions.

Link Up Telecom Recertification

No online recertification process. Wait until they call, text or mail you and then follow their instructions.

nTelos Wireless Recertification

No online recertification process. Wait until they call, text or mail you and then follow their instructions.

Q Link Wireless Recertification

If you know when it’s time to re-certify, or if you’ve received notice from Q Link Wireless, you can easily re-certify online here.

Reachout Wireless Recertification

If you know when it’s time to re-certify, or if you’ve received notice from ReachOut Wireless, you can easily re-certify online here.

Safelink Wireless Recertification

If you know when it’s time to re-certify, or if you’ve received notice from Safelink Wireless, you can easily re-certify online here.

Standup Wireless Recertification

If you know when it’s time to re-certify, or if you’ve received notice from StandUp Wireless, you can easily re-certify online here or call 866-693-5077

T-Mobile Recertification

No online recertification process. Wait until they call, text or mail you and then follow their instructions.

Tag Mobile Recertification

If you know when it’s time to re-certify, or if you’ve received notice fromTag Mobile, you can easily re-certify online here.

Telscape Recertification

No online recertification process. Wait until they call, text or mail you and then follow their instructions.

Terracom Wireless Recertification

If you know when it’s time to re-certify, or if you’ve received notice from Terracom Wireless, you can easily re-certify online here.

True Wireless Recertification

No online recertification process. Wait until they call, text or mail you and then follow their instructions.

Total Call Mobile Recertification

No online recertification process. Wait until they call, text or mail you and then follow their instructions. But you can also download, complete and mail back this recertification form.

US Cellular Recertification

No online recertification process. Wait until they call, text or mail you and then follow their instructions.

US Connect Recertification

No online recertification process. Wait until they call, text or mail you and then follow their instructions. But you can call 817-601-4659 and re-certify by telephone by following the prompts.

Yourtel Wireless Recertification

If you know when it’s time to re-certify, or if you’ve received notice from Yourtel Wireless, you can easily re-certify online here.

Verizon Wireless Recertification

No online recertification process. Wait until they call, text or mail you and then follow their instructions.

Don’t commit perjury

No matter who your free government cell phone provider may be, you will not be re-certified until you swear under penalty of perjury that you do indeed still qualify for the progam.

This outstanding program is, unfortunately, plagued with fraud, so the penalties for perjury can be (and should be) severe.

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Comments

  1. Patricia De Carlo says

    i tried to help a friend who had to reapply since he did not recertify on time. it made me apply and there was no place to say he already had a phone but was just reapplying because he had not recertified in time.
    frustrating process.

  2. nancy lavway says

    Trying to recertify online. where is id number. also tried to call. Nancy ****** cell 207768****.

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