How to Transfer a Cell Phone Number and Account to Your Name

If you are asking for a domestic violence restraining order and the person you want protection from (the restrained person) has control or rights over your cell phone number and account, you have the right to ask the judge to transfer those rights to you.  The same is true for cell phone numbers and accounts for children in your care. You can also ask for possession of the actual cell phone itself. The judge can also order the restrained person to pay the phone bill temporarily, or for as long as the restraining order lasts, or until the phone is transferred into your name.

Contact your wireless service provider (the company that provides your cell phone service) to understand if you are eligible to have the account in your name, and what fees you will be responsible for. If the judge transfers the cell phone account to your name, you will be financially responsible for the account and any fees from the wireless service provider.

To ask the judge to transfer the rights to the cell phone number (or numbers) and the account to you:

  1. Check item 18 on your Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order (Form DV-100). Make sure you check all the boxes that apply to your case. Read the form carefully.
  2. If the judge signs your Temporary Restraining Order (Form DV-110), look at item 18 to see if the judge gave you the control and use of the phone and the account. Check too if the judge ordered the restrained person to pay the phone bill.  When you go to court for the “permanent” restraining order, the judge will decide whether to transfer the cell phone number and account to your name.
  3. If the judge issues a "permanent" (up to 5 years) restraining order after the court hearing, look at Item 18 of your Restraining Order After Hearing (Form DV-130) to see what orders the judge made related to the cell phone.

To make sure you have the paperwork you will need for the wireless service provider, follow these steps:

  1. Unless the judge has already done so, fill out Order Transferring Wireless Phone Account (Form DV-900). Make 2 copies and turn them in to the clerk to get the judge’s signature and file it. Keep one copy for yourself in a safe place.
  2. Fill out Attachment to Order Transferring Wireless Phone Account (Form DV-901) and make 1 copy. Read it carefully. It has instructions for you. Do NOT file this with the court.
  3. Send a copy of the filed Form DV-900 and of DV-901 to the wireless service provider. Go to http://www.sos.ca.gov/registries/safe-home/domestic-violence-wireless-plans to find out where to send the forms.
  4. The forms have instructions for the wireless service provider to transfer the cell phone account and number into your name. If you do not receive any notifications from the wireless service provider that the account has been put in your name within 2 weeks, you may want to contact the company yourself to check on the process.

© 2017 Judicial Council of California