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US Short Code Migration Process and FAQ

Migrating your US Short Code from your current provider over to Twilio follows nearly the same process and timeline as acquiring a new Short Code.

Notice: If you want to migrate a “live” code to Twilio, you will have to manage traffic to and from both Twilio and your current provider for a period of time — likely for two to six weeks. Each wireless carrier will migrate from your current provider to Twilio on different dates. To ensure that you're ready for this migration, please be sure that you have read and understand our article Configuring Short Code Messaging Applications During a Live Migration to Twilio.

If you would like to migrate your short code to Twilio please submit a completed Twilio short code application to get the process started.

If you would like to transfer your short code lease to Twilio please have your current short code provider use the Lease Transfer feature on to transfer the code into Twilio's account using our Account ID. Leases should not be transferred to Twilio until after a Short Code Specialist has reviewed your application and payment has been submitted. Once payment is complete, your Twilio Short Code Specialist will provide Twilio's Account ID so the lease transfer can be initiated. Here is a video showing the process:

If you are controlling your own lease, Twilio requires that you attach the following documents:

  • Lease Receipt: Your most current iConectiv short code payment lease receipt.
  • Migration Letter: you’ll receive this from Twilio after you have completed step one. This will be a template for you to fill out and send back to Twilio via the Short Code application.

High Level Migration Steps

  1. Submit a short code application to Twilio.
  2. Twilio will reach out  and perform our standard compliance check, after which we will approve your application for payment.
  3. Once you complete payment in your Twilio console you will be given access to short code so you can implement the Live Migration configuration.
    • You must configure HELP, STOP, and JOIN keywords at this step, and they must align with what was submitted in the application. Variations could delay the migration. If your keyword responses will be different from what is in the application please let us know ASAP. 
    • If you are transferring your lease to Twilio we will reach out and give further instructions at this step.
  4. Once your configuration is good to go, confirm with the Short Code team that you are ready to  begin the connectivity migration process. No carriers will switch over until you confirm with us that you are ready to move forward!
  5. Carriers will start moving their connection over, one by one, over the course of a few weeks. You will receive notifications when the four Tier 1 carriers (T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon) and then again once the minor carriers have moved.

Short Code Migration FAQ

Why does my short code application need to be compliance reviewed? It was already approved on my previous provider.

Carriers re-review all short code applications during a migration. Compliance requirements change over time, and what was previously allowed may no longer be compliant. Or there could have been errors or omissions in the original submission.

I want to change my HELP, STOP, or JOIN response from what is on my application, but the application has already been submitted to carriers, what do I do?

We can submit updated keyword responses to the carriers, but if the application has already submitted to carriers this will cause delays. You will be able to make keyword adjustments after carriers have migrated and approved your short code, and this is what we recommend.

Will carriers test the old keywords that are setup on my previous provider or the new keywords, or both?

Carriers will only test the keywords you have configured on Twilio, not the old keywords.

I do not have a keyword opt-in as part of my short code campaign, why do I need to configure a JOIN keyword?

All short code campaigns (with the exception of Single Message campaigns) must send a confirmation SMS to users when they sign up. The JOIN keyword is so that carriers can vet the opt-in confirmation message for compliance.

I have a Single Message campaign (2FA/MFA/OTP or something similar), what should my JOIN response be?

In these cases the JOIN response should return an example of the kind of message the campaign would send. The below would be an acceptable example message for Authy:

  • "Authy: Your verification code is 12345"

Is it possible to find out the dates on which specific carriers will migrate their connection to Twilio?

The only carrier we have direct insight into for migration dates is T-Mobile. AT&T performs migrations late on Sunday evenings, but we cannot guarantee which Sunday this will occur on. We do not have insight into migration dates for other carriers.

Will I be double-charged for my short code lease during a migration?

Never! We bill all migrations as Customer Leased short codes ($1,500 a quarter for connectivity fees) until we can adjust the billing. Once the lease is in Twilio's control we will pro-rate the remaining lease charge for that quarter/year, and the billing will resume as normal on the next renewal date.


  • You pay for short a code application ($1,500) on Twilio on Jan 1.
  • Your lease renews on Feb 15.
  • Twilio will initiate a manual charge of $750 to cover the lease period from Feb 15 to Apr 1.
  • Customer will renew Apr 1 for $3,000 or $4,500 (depending on Vanity or Random).

When do I need to provide a migration letter or updated copy of my lease receipt?

These are only needed if you are not transferring your lease to Twilio's control. If this is the case and these documents were not attached to your original application we will request them after payment has been received for your short code application.

How long does the migration process take?

There are typically 2 elements to the migration process, the lease transfer and the connectivity transfer.

Lease transfers take less than 24 hours. Please note that transferring the lease has no effect on the connectivity of the short code.

The connectivity transfer will take the standard short code provisioning time of 6 - 10 weeks for all major and minor carriers to move over.

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