Most new Verizon wireless phones are sold as unlocked devices as of March 2015. This includes phones using LTE networks and most 3G phones, but not Verizon's Global Ready phones or their prepaid Phone-in-the-Box phones. However, Verizon can unlock these and older phones upon request under certain conditions.
Unlocking phones was considered illegal in the United States until 2014, though regulatory issues prevented cellular phone carriers from officially beginning to unlock phones until early 2015. All carriers, including Verizon, are now required to unlock phones for customers for free at the customer's request. The major exceptions are Verizon's Phone-in-the-Box prepaid phones, which are locked to the company's cellular network for one year after purchase. While customers can transition from prepaid service to contract service after six weeks, Verizon does not unlock prepaid phones for free until the one-year period has elapsed.
Non-iPhone devices that are part of Verizon's Global Ready phone line are also locked to Verizon's network, but the unlock code for these phones is either 000000 or 123456, depending on the model. The SIM cards in these phones are also locked to the Verizon network, but Verizon can unlock the SIM card as well upon a customer request.