Phone number not valid?

Multiple times – my bank, my internet company, and now Venmo – merchants tell me my phone number is not a valid cell/mobile number. This stops me from being able to receive validation and security codes when I get a merchant where I have this problem.

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Correct. Republic numbers are considered VOIP or landline numbers.
Those companies may have a policy in place that will not accept VOIP numbers.
There are a few discussion in the community regarding this and possible alternative methods.


Thanks for this response and (sad) information. Although I had run into this before, usually the merchant, etc., was able to get around it and “approve” my number. Ridiculous! Now, though, I have faced three in a row where my number is just “not valid”: AT&T, Wells Fargo, and Venmo. Very frustrating.

For the sake of clarity, any of these entities could choose to accept Republic (and other VoIP) numbers as others have done previously for you. That they don’t is a matter of their policy.

I’ve found this occurring more often with my Google Voice number, also. As much as I love Google Voice, I’m on the verge of dumping it over this annoyance.

Agreed. I have had other entities be stumped at first but then “register” the number. What frustrates me about these is that they appear to have no process for doing that without a lot of digging on my part (if they have one at all). Wells Fargo, for instance, appears to accept the number as a mobile number, but if you need to do any business over the phone and they cannot text you a code, you are sunk. That is when you find out your number is invalid. And they offer no options up front, even though I believe they have one. But I have also had entities that have no problem with the number. I just wish that were the norm.

Yes. I hate having to jump through extra hoops (which is time-consuming at the very least) just to get them to recognize that it is a real cell phone number. There is no real justification for it, and I find it maddening.

Well, there is…sort of. Buried in a NIST publication is the text:

Methods that do not prove possession of a specific device, such as voice-over-IP (VOIP) or email, SHALL NOT be used for out-of-band authentication.

That is certainly a statement of their policy, but it does not provide any actual justification. Then their classification of Republic Wireless numbers as VOIP just shifts all of us into “non-specific device” territory, in violation of the rules of reality! Just sayin’ …

Here’s the thing, the NIST standard was written after A LOT of lobbying by the telecom industry. First, VoIP doesn’t meant it isn’t tied to a phone. Second, cellular doesn’t prove that it is. I can take a SIM and move it to any phone, heck use it in a laptop, etc. The standard was originally going to exclude SMS completely as an acceptable method of authentication but after the lobbying by the cell industry was rewritten at the last moment to allow “traditional” cell phones to work. A perfect example of broken politics writing a policy.


I don’t disagree.

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I’ve turned off wifi to force cell connection and this has allowed some 2 factor authentication codes to come through on my republic phone. I don’t recall if this has worked every time I’ve tried it, but I know it has several times.

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You are so right, about the phones and the politics. On the plus side, Wells Fargo has finally “verified [my]… updated phone number.” Even though I did not update my number, if it makes them feel better to say that, I can live with it.

Interesting, although I don’t have trouble receiving 2-factor authentication codes on the sites requiring them. My problem is that there have been some situations where I get stuck in mid-registration (like Venmo) because despite typing in my Republic phone number, I am reminded to “enter a valid mobile number.” So … I usually never get to the point of authentication. I guess maybe it was similar to my problem with Wells Fargo because they said they sent me codes I never received. Hmmm. Anyway, they have “verified” my number at long last, so we shall see … Thanks!

I have recently tried to sign up to an app (it was PlentyOfFish :grin:) and basically, yeah, I couldn’t do it because I could never receive an SMS code since my number was “invalid”. Sad but, oh well… Someone else got my business :man_shrugging:

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That is certainly the state of things now. After I submitted a “help ticket” with Venmo concerning the problem, I received two followup email: one notified me that they had created a help ticket for me; a few days later I received a survey asking me to rate their service. I think you can imagine what rating I gave them.

My wife and I both use Republic Wireless Service. She recently had a problem with WeChat and the service would not recognize her new number as a valid cellphone number.
My number was ported in and had no problem registering on WeChat.
Perhaps the manual porting of a number gets the cellphone number added on the Real Cellphone Number registry?

More likely, the database WeChat is checking numbers against hasn’t been updated to reflect your number is with Republic. There is no central Real Cellphone Number registry.


Have any of you tried using your “2nd phone number” – the real phone number that is behind your RW VOIP service? Based on what I understand the issue to be, I imagine this would work.

Here is a thread about how to find that mystery 2nd number that you aren’t supposed to know about or use.

That number is not useful as it can not send or receive any text messages…for My Choice plan users. Not certain if this method would still work with legacy phone users.

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