PAC Code or STAC Code: what’s the difference?

Moving from one mobile phone network to another can be a lot of malarkey – whether it’s paying pricey cancellation fees or listening to repetitive hold music while you wait to speak to someone at your provider, there are lots of frustrations you can encounter when looking to make a switch. Luckily, managing your number can be one of the easier parts of changing networks, thanks to PAC and STAC codes.

What is a PAC code?

PAC stands for Porting Authorisation Code. You can use a PAC to transfer your existing mobile number from one provider to another. These codes are nine alphanumeric characters long, meaning they will be a mix of letters and numbers. Three letters will come first, followed by six numbers. When you get a PAC from your current network, you can give this to the network you are switching to and your number will transfer over, usually in the next working day.

How do I get a PAC code?

There are a few ways to get a PAC, the simplest being to text “PAC” and your date of birth in ddmmyy format to 65075 (e.g. SMARTY was founded 31st August 2017, so our message would say “PAC 310817"). This is a free and universal number that was set up by Ofcom in 2019, meaning you can use it to get your PAC whatever network you’re currently using. You should have your PAC sent to you in under a minute using this method.

Depending on your provider, there will be other ways you can get a PAC. These could include:

• Contacting your provider using a phone number, email address or web chat

• Using self-service account management features on your provider’s website or app

• Visiting one of your provider’s stores, if they have them

So, while texting 65075 will be the easiest way to get a PAC, there are alternative options if you experience any issues with this number or have anything else to sort out with your current provider.

How do I use a PAC code?

The exact way you use a PAC will again vary depending on the network you’re joining, but it is often the case that you will be able to do so using the network’s website or app.

Usually this will include sharing your PAC and the number you want to transfer to your new network, although may also include sharing other information, depending on the network you are transferring to.

Note that a PAC is valid for 30 days following your request, so if you still wish to transfer your number once this period has passed, you will need to request a new code.

If you are looking for information on how you can use a PAC to transfer your number to SMARTY, you can find more information in our help article about Keeping your number.

What is a STAC code?

STAC stands for Service Termination Authorisation Code. A STAC does the opposite of a PAC by closing down your number when transferring from one provider to another, so should be used when you want to close an account with your current provider without bringing your existing number over to your new network. Like a PAC, a STAC also consists of nine alphanumeric characters, although the order is flipped so that the six numbers appear before the three letters.

How do I get a STAC code?

You can get a STAC in almost the exact same way as you would a PAC. The number to text to get a STAC is 75075, which you might notice is almost identical to the number to get a PAC from, if not for the fact it begins with a 7 rather than a 6.

By texting “STAC” to 75075, you should get your code almost instantly. Like a PAC, you may also be able to get a STAC contacting your provider, using its account management tools or by visting one of their stores.

How do I use a STAC code?

It might not seem like you need to give a STAC to your new provider if you plan to leave your old number behind, but it is important you do, so that your old network can terminate their service to you and ensure a smooth transition to your new network.

Like a PAC, you should be given an option to provide a STAC when joining a new network. Give the number you want to close down and the STAC and this should be sorted for you.

Also like a PAC, a STAC expires 30 days after it’s been requested. Make sure to use it within this period if you’re looking to shut down your number when transferring.

You can find more information about using a STAC to get a new number when joining SMARTY in our help article Leaving your number behind.

So remember:

  • If you want to keep your number, text "PAC" to 65075.
  • If you want a new number, text "STAC" to 75075.

SMARTY SIM only deals

Had enough of annual price rises and all the other malarkey that comes with phone contracts? Why not use a PAC code to bring your number over to SMARTY and enjoy award-winning simple, honest mobile? All of our plans are one-month rolling plans with superfast 5G, up to 12GB of EU roaming and unlimited calls & texts included, so there's plenty of reasons to love SMARTY.

  • SMARTY Team
  • May 16th, 2023