What is an IMEI, MEID, or ESN?

What is an IMEI number?

Think of an IMEI number like your phone's fingerprint— it is unique to your phone and can be traced to identify you as the owner. An IMEI is a 15 digit number that can be found on the phone itself, e.g. on the phone's backplate, or with other general information in your phone's settings menu. You can also trigger your IMEI to appear on your phone's display by entering *#06# on your phone's keypad.

IMEI numbers are used world wide to combat the smartphone theft by "blacklisting" or blocking a stolen phone from accessing any cell network. This is done by the phone's owner, who calls his or her network provider to report the phone as lost or stolen. The phone is then useless and, in turn, the lack of resale value makes for little incentive for thieves.

IMEI EXAMPLE: 013200003915965

What is an ESN number?

Much like an IMEI, an ESN is a number unique to every mobile phone. This number usually takes the form of an 11-digit decimal number or an 8-digit hexadecimal number.

An ESN number is used to identify a CDMA [source link re: CDMA] phone in particular, which are phones that do not require the use of a SIM card to access the carrier network. ESNs were allocated to new phones up until 2006, when unique ESN numbers effectively ran out. Although phones are not currently being manufactured with ESN numbers, existing phones with a ESN identifier can be used to blacklist a phone from accessing a cell network when reported stolen.

What is an MEID number?

As unique ESN numbers ran out in 2006, a new serial number format called MEID was implemented by Verizon. Much like its predecessor, the ESN, an MEID number is used to identify a cell phone that uses CDMA technology to access a cell network. Your phone's MEID number is unique to it and can be used to blacklist your phone from use after you have reported it lost or stolen.


NOTE: This 2 are techincally the SAME serial. MATH was used to convert. I recommend a FREE tool ESN CONVERTER

4G MEID is the Smae as IMEI with 1 DIGIT LESS

4G MEID EXAMPLE 354403064522046 4G IMEI EXAMPLE 35440306452204

sometime you have the MEID but NEED the IMEI. If you input the MEID in one of the FREE check sites below, it will give you the last digit!

How is an ESN different than a MEID or IMEI number? 

Any cell phone manufactured will have either a unique IMEI, ESN, or MEID number. Cell phone manufacturers and wireless carriers use an IMEI / ESN / MEID number to identify specific cell phones. There might be thousands of a specific make or model of a phone but each of those individual phones will have its own identifying number.

So, these numbers function in the same way: to identify a phone. The main difference between these numbers is the configuration of the numbers themselves and which phones will likely use either an IMEI, ESN, or MEID number. See a quick breakdown below: