Back in the year 2000, cellular phones started to become a norm for the citizens of Pakistan. The drop in prices and easy availability for the general public gave an abrupt push to the number of cellular subscribers in the years that followed.
With this came the wrongful use of purposeful technology. Many illegal activities and terrorist attacks were soon found to be linked to unregistered SIMs.
To overcome these problems, PTA introduced an advanced SIM Information System in 2009. The system was designed to keep a digital record of the SIM subscribers so that the users can check the number of active SIMs issued against their CNIC.
If you are unaware of the number of SIM cards issued against your CNIC or would like to verify or block one of them, by all means, keep reading.
How many SIMs can be registered against one CNIC?
It is important to understand first that there is a limit to the number of SIMs one can get against their CNIC. As per the regulations set by PTA, an individual can have a maximum of 5 SIM cards issued in their name at a time.
If you already have 5 SIM cards registered with your CNIC and you want to get another one, you must first block the SIM card no longer in use to maintain the consistency of a maximum of 5 SIMs.
How to check the number of active SIMs issued against your CNIC?
If you are not aware of the active SIM cards issued against your CNIC, it is important that you get that information as soon as possible.
There are two easy ways you can do that:
- Through Website:
- To check the number of SIM cards issued and active against your name, go to the PTA SIM Information Website.
- The link will open a webpage that will ask you to enter your information.
- Enter your CNIC number in the given field.
- Verify that you are not a robot by checking the box and press ‘Submit’.
- You will be shown a list of the registered SIMs against that particular CNIC in a tabular form.
- The number of SIMs will be classified operator-wise, and the table will also tell you the total number of SIMs you have registered against your CNIC.
- Through SMS:
To find out the number of SIMs registered against your CNIC via SMS, here is a short guide:
- Open the text message application on your phone.
- Type in your CNIC number without any hyphens.
- Once done, send this message to 668.
- You will soon receive a reply via text message showing you the total number of active SIM cards against each operator issued on your CNIC.
- Please note that you will be charged PKR 2 + tax for each SMS that you send to 668.
If you find out that the number of SIMs issued against your CNIC is more than the current number of SIM cards you are using, you must contact the Customer Service Centre of the respective Company Operator.
What is SIM Cloning and why should you be aware of it?
The process where a SIM card is duplicated by transferring the cloned SIM’s identifying information to another SIM card is called SIM cloning. Once done, the separate SIM card can be used by another person on a different cellular phone while having all the data plus the charges attributed to the original SIM card.
SIM cloning is a common method used by many criminals to pursue illegal activities and make calls associated with them using someone else’s identity. If someone receives a call from your number that you didn’t make, call the relevant cellular company promptly and file a complaint to block the illegally functional SIM card.
PTA Biometric Verification System:
The PTA Biometric Verification System, or BVS for short, is a major step by PTA to monitor the safety of cellular subscribers and put an end to the illegal use of mobile phone connections. Through this system you can easily:
- Obtain a duplicate SIM
- Activate or buy a new SIM card
- Change the ownership of a SIM card previously registered under someone else’s CNIC
- Re-verify your SIM card
- Solve issues regarding mobile number portability
How to get your SIM card’s biometric verification?
To make sure that your registered SIM card does not get blocked, you will have to verify if you are using a SIM that PTA recognizes. To get a biometric verified SIM, you must first check if the SIM card is registered in your name or not.
How to check the name of the SIM owner?
To find out the name of the SIM owner, you should follow these easy steps:
- Open the text message application from your phone.
- Send a blank message to 667.
- You will soon receive a reply text message that shows the name of the SIM owner that the message has been sent from.
How to block a SIM card registered against your CNIC?
If you want to dispose of any mobile SIM that you do not use, it is better to get it blocked so that you are no longer responsible for that number against your CNIC. To do so, here’s what you should do:
- Visit the nearest franchise or customer support office of the relevant cellular company.
- You will be required to show your original CNIC and fill a related form that will immediately block your required number.
Please keep in mind that the use of illegal or unregistered SIM cards is a crime and comes with its consequences. If you are currently using an unregistered SIM card or a SIM card in someone else’s name, you must see to its solution immediately to avoid being caught in a criminal activity.