Free unlock codes can be obtained through Verizon Wireless directly. A device is unlocked by disabling software that prevents its use on another network, but devices may still be inoperable on other networks due to technological incompatibilities.
Many Verizon Wireless devices are not locked, and simply need a code to program the device for other carriers. Other devices are locked, and are unlocked using a code from Verizon Wireless after any time restrictions have passed.
Verizon 4G LTE phones are not locked, and do not need a code to be used with other carriers. Verizon 3G devices are also not locked except for Phone-in-the-Box prepaid phones and non-iPhone Global Ready phones. Prepaid 3G Phone-in-the-Box phones are locked to Verizon Wireless for 12 months following activation, after which time they are unlocked using a code provided by Verizon Wireless. Non-iPhone Global Ready devices are also unlocked through Verizon Wireless upon request.