How to do an MTN SIM Swap or Replacement

Are you looking to do an MTN SIM swap or replacement? If yes, then you have come to the right place. MTN is the second biggest mobile communication company in South Africa. It currently has millions of customers. If you are one of them, a time may come when you need to know how to do a SIM swap on MTN. Perhaps your old SIM has become damaged. Or maybe you have lost your phone. Whatever the case, the following is how to do an MTN SIM replacement;

MTN SIM replacement steps for lost, deactivated or damaged cards

Note that the procedure given here is more of a SIM replacement. The instructions given below are for those that have lost or damaged their SIMs. To carry out an MTN SIM replacement, you need to take the followings steps;

  1. First, you need to buy an MTN Starter pack.
  2. Next, register (RICA) you new MTN starter pack.
  3. Now you need to put the new SIM into your phone. Or put it into another phone if you have 2.
  4. Choose Get a new number, if you get a menu with several options. This appears on older SIMs.
  5. Now dial *135# to activate your new MTN SIM.
  6. After your SIM has been registered, dial *135*3#. That’s the code that you use to do an MTN SIM Swap in South Africa.
  7. Next, enter your old cellphone number. That’s the one that you wish to put onto the new SIM.
  8. You will now receive an SMS giving you further steps needed to complete your MTN SIM Swap.
  9. You are required to give the correct responses to a security question. You will also need to give reasons for the SIM replacement. This needs to be done within 3 minutes.
  10. After validating that you are the correct owner of the number to be swapped, you will receive a message telling you that you have successfully swapped your MTN SIM.

MTN SIM swap procedure for cards that are still active

You may have reason to swap your MTN SIM card even if the old SIM is still active. Maybe you need to get an LTE SIM. Perhaps you need a micro SIM for your new phone. Whatever the case, the following is the MTN SIM swap procedure for those whose cards are still active;

  1. First, you need to buy an MTN starter pack.
  2. Register (RICA) the new SIM.
  3. Next, put the new SIM into your phone. Or use another phone if you have 2.
  4. Choose Get a new number from the menu that may appear. This menu only appears on older SIMs, so proceed to the next step if it does not show up on your phone.
  5. The next step is to activate your new SIM by dialing *135#.
  6. Once your SIM is active, put your old SIM back into your phone. Or proceed to the next step if you have both SIMs in 2 different phones.
  7. From your old SIM, send a Message containing the world Swap to 44770.
  8. You will get a message containing an OTP Pin. Write this down.
  9. Now put you new MTN SIM into your phone. Again, no problem if you are using 2 phones to complete this process.
  10. From your new SIM, create a new message and type in Swap + your old number*OTP#.
  11. An example would be Swap 0839876543*3456#. That’s assuming that 0839876543 is your old number and 3456 is the OTP that you received on steps 8.
  12. Wait till your old SIM has stopped working.
  13. After that, insert your new SIM into your phone and you should be good to go.

MTN SIM Swap Number or Code

The MTN SIM Swap number or code is *135#. Choose the option to swap your sim. That’s usually option 3.

Can you do a SIM swap online for MTN?

Replacing your MTN SIM cannot be done online. That’s because there are some things that you need to physically do to complete the process. You need to, as an example, buy an MTN Starter pack. You will have to go to your nearest MTN dealer to get one.

You also need to RICA your new MTN SIM. That’s the requirement in South Africa. Nobody is allowed to use a SIM without registering it first. So, this is something that you are going to need to visit your nearest MTN dealer to get down. After that, you can swap your MTN SIM on your own.

How much does it cost to replace an MTN SIM?

Swapping your MTN Sim is done free of charge. However, you are going to need to buy a new prepaid starter pack to be able to complete the process. So, that’s the cost. But starter packs are very cheap in South Africa.

Why replace your SIM?

That’s how to do a MTN sim swap. The process may appear a bit complicated. But really, it’s not. But why would anyone go through the trouble? Well, there are several instances where you may find yourself needing to swap your MTN SIM. The following are some of those reasons;

  • Maybe you have lost your SIM. South Africa is not the safest of places for cellular phones. If yours has been stolen, then you will need to do a SIM replacement.
  • Another reason for learning how to SIM swap MTN is if your current SIM has become damaged in one way or the other.
  • You would also need to replace your MTN SIM if you have bought a new phone that needs a micro SIM.


That’s how to do a SIM Swap on MTN. Hope this information was useful to you. It should help you replace you SIM in the event of loss or damage. And you wont need to change your number. Anyway, here is how to port from Vodacom to MTN. Also check out our article on how to port to Telkom from MTN.


  1. I have exceeded my sim swap and I pay a lot of time by people that stand in Belleville after one yours it’s not working what can I do to get my number back please

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