How to Port a Phone Number in Canada

Porting business telephone numbers in Canada is part of our day to day business. Most telephone numbers in Canada can, in fact, be ported – confirm here on the CRTC website. Following are some tips we’ve learned  about number portability over the years!

office phone systems
Switching between carriers

What Information Will I Need to Port a Phone Number?

  1. A copy of your existing telephone bill
  2. List all the phone numbers on the account, including any that might not port
  3. Note your account number
  4. Be sure you know the registered service address (not mailing address) for your phone numbers
  5. Fill out and sign the LOA form that comes from your new provider


How Long Does it Take to Port a Number?

Number porting often takes about 2 weeks from the time your documentation is submitted. Technically, the “losing carrier” only has 48 hours to responds to a port request. However, most “gaining carriers” will not port so quickly. They often want a buffer period to sort out any mismatches and rejections.

We’ve seen some carriers such as Ring Central or Microsoft Teams take months to complete a port. One can only speculate that maybe American based organizations are more used to the US style of porting and the Canadian system throws curveballs they don’t expect.


What are Some Common Reasons for Port Rejections?

Here are some common causes for rejection, listed from most common to least common:

  1. Incorrect list of numbers; if there is confusion over this item you can call your old carrier to get the exact info
  2. Wrong business name on LOA form – it has to match the customer name on your old carrier’s invoice PERFECTLY
  3. The submitted service address doesn’t match – remember that they want the service address, not the mailing address


Are There Unique Challenges in Porting Away from Certain Carriers?

Yes, there are! Here are some unique challenges we run into time and time again pertaining to local carriers.


The biggest issue in porting away from Telus is usually the fact they don’t list all your phone numbers on each invoice. For instance, if you have a PRI, DID trunks, or a multi line business number Telus will usually only list the main number on your invoices. The best was to get the other phone numbers associated with your account is to call the number for technical support and ask! While you have them on the phone, verify your service address just for good measure đŸ™‚


Shaw is usually quite good at listing all your phone numbers on each invoice. However, they often throw a wrench into the porting process if you try to port some, but not all, of your phone numbers to a new service. If you end up planning a partial port the best idea is to call Shaw ahead of time. Ask for their “Porting and Retention” department and let them know what your plan is. They may have to send out a technician to do a “telephone number realignment” on your Shaw box before the port out can be approved.

Other small carriers:

Some other small carriers can make porting a challenge by making information difficult to obtain. One way to get the info you need is to call support and ask for your “Customer Equipment Record”. As far as we know, the CRTC dictates that carriers provide this information to you in a timely manner.


What About Porting Toll Free Numbers?

Porting toll free numbers is quite similar with the following exceptions:

  • You need a RespOrg form instead of an LOA form
  • The RespOrg should show the billing address, not the physical address
  • The phone bill you submit must be no more than 30 days old