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How Do I Get an Unlisted Phone Number?

Updated March 21, 2017

An unlisted number is a telephone number that does not appear in telephone directories or phone books. Unlisted numbers are also concealed from any call recipient with a caller identification system, along with the name of the individual who registered the number. Unlisted phone numbers help protect the identity of the caller and their number when making calls to individuals they may not want to reveal themselves to. Such numbers can limit the number of unsolicited calls they receive.

Getting a New Unlisted Phone Number

The best way to get an unlisted phone number is by deactivating your current number and getting a new one. You can do this by contacting your telephone company (if you have two separate companies for local and long distance, you will need to contact your local provider) and requesting a new, unlisted number. There will be a fee for changing your phone number, and there may be an additional fee for keeping your number unlisted, although some phone companies offer this service free when you buy a new number or sign up for new service. This will also prevent your new, unlisted number from being included in your local telephone book and in the 411 directory.

Delisting Your Current Phone Number

You can remove your current telephone number from public directories, which will make it unlisted, instead of changing your phone number. To do so, contact your telephone company and ask to have your phone number marked as private. There is usually a fee for doing so; some phone companies charge a yearly maintenance fee to keep your number unlisted, as well. Requesting your number be marked private through your phone company will effectively remove it from the 411 directory and from any future editions of your local phonebook. Remember that your number will still appear in older editions of your local phonebook, so it may not completely remove your number from the public eye.

Delisting a Phone Number from Online Directory

Remove your number from any online directories, including WhitePages.com or SwitchBoard.com. Even if your number is unlisted, it may still appear on online phone directories, especially if you changed a previously listed number to unlisted. You can ask your local phone company for more assistance with finding online directories and removing your number from their listings.

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About the Author

Carrie Ferland is a practicing civil litigation defense attorney in the Philadelphia Area. As an author, her work has been featured in various legal publications for over 10 years. Ferland is a 2000 graduate of Pennsylvania State University and completed her Juris Doctorate and Master of Business Administration with the Dickinson School of Law. She is currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in English.