What Is an IMEI Number and Where Can I Find It?

IMEI stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity. It is a unique 15-digit number devoted to every mobile device, including smartphones, tablets, and other mobile communication devices. The IMEI number is used to identify and track mobile devices on a cellular network. Smart home devices, wearables, industrial sensors, and other connected hardware, often have built-in cellular connectivity to enable communication with the internet. These devices may have an IMEI assigned to them for identification and management purposes. Let’s go deeper on what is the IMEI number function set. 

What is an IMEI Number Used For? 

An IMEI is utilized by mobile networks to identify devices and prove their legitimacy. To be more precise, this includes the following: 

  • IMEI enables device identification for network providers and manufacturers, including information about the model and origin. 

  • IMEI helps to block stolen devices from network access. 

  • In addition, IMEI is used by manufacturers to provide tech support and overcome specific device challenges.   

  • The IMEI number is needed for warranty and repair purposes, which implies proof of devices’ authenticity. 

What Do 15 Digits of IMEI Mean?  

The 15 digits of an IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) bear information about the device:  

  • Type Allocation Code (TAC): These are the first 8 digits that identify the device manufacturer. 

  • Final Assembly Code (FAC): The next 2 digits that show the device's final assembly point.  

  • Serial Number (SNR): The following 6 digits show the unique serial number of the device.  

  • Check Digit (CD): The last digit validates the IMEI's integrity and ensures accurate transmission and identification.  

How Do I Find My IMEI Number? 

The way you can find your IMEI number can vary depending on the specific device you use and its manufacturer. It is usually provided in the device documentation, on the packaging, or in the settings or management interface. Here are the most popular ways you can find your IMEI number: 

  1. Dial a specific code: You may dial *#06# on the majority of devices and then have yout IMEI number displayed. 

  2. Find IMEI in Settings Menu. 
    For iPhone: Go to Settings > General > About  
    For Android: Go to Settings > About Phone > Status  

  3. Find IMEI on physical device: 
    On iPhones the IMEI number can be often found on the SIM tray. Some devices have the IMEI included on the back. 

    In some cases, you can find it on the battery, for example on the sticker.  

  4. Find IMEI on packaging. It is often printed on the label of the original packaging.

Which Devices May Include IMEI? 

Many Smart Home devices like smart locks, IoT cameras, thermostats, lighters, can include IMEI. In addition, industrial equipment and IoT sensors may include IMEI. It is also part of many vehicle and asset tracking systems, for examples within GPS trackers, OBD-II, etc. The other devices which include the IMEI number include wearables like smartwatches and fitness trackers, as well as agriculture monitoring devices, such as soil sensors, and irrigation systems    


 In contrast to the IMEI number, there is another identifier called IMEISV (International Mobile Equipment Identity - Software Version). This 16-digit code comprises the software/firmware version. It includes the following sections: a six-digit TAC code (Type Approval Code), a two-digit FAC code (Final Assembly Code) indicating the production location, a six-digit SNR code (Sequence Number) uniquely identifying each device, and a two-digit SVN code (Software Version Number) indicating the software version. The manufacturer protects the TAC, FAC, and SNR from unauthorized changes through marking. The IMEISV of a device can usually be found in the device's menu or on the label of the original packaging.    

What Can Someone Do with Your IMEI Number? 

The IMEI number itself does have any sensitive personal data, but at the same time it can be used in the wrong way. The data can be duplicated into the other devices, while the original one will become hard to track. In addition, if a device is reported as stolen, it can be blocked by the network. Together with other data IMEI number can be utilized to detect location of the device.  

Can IMEI Be Tracked? 

The IMEI number can be easily tracked. Mobile carriers and law enforcement agencies may utilize IMEI to check on the device location. This is essential if the device is stolen or lost as well as if there’s a necessity for the device recovery.  

Is It Necessary to Have an IMEI Number? 

The IMEI number is necessary in many cases. Mobile networks use IMEI to enable or block devices from access. Moreover, IMEI helps prevent the use of devices that were stolen or lost. And last but not least –it's necessary when your device needs repairment. Technical Support and Warranty: Essential for support and repair services.  

What is the Secret About IMEI? 

There are no real secrets around the IMEI numbers. However, there are some less known things like IMEISV (International Mobile Equipment Identity Software Version) which has additional digits for the software version of the device. Moreover, the allocation and structure of IMEI allows devices to meet specific regulatory standards. As already mentioned, IMEI can be changed or duplicated, providing a legal gray area.  

Why Would Someone Ask for My IMEI Number? 

There are situations when you can be asked to share your IMEI, and here are some of the legal reasons for that: When you need technical support, the company will ask you to share your IMEI When you deal with warranty service and repairment, you will be also asked to show the IMEI number When you need to unlock your device from a specific carrier, IMEI is requested.   

What Happens if I Give My Phone's IMEI Number to Another Person? 

Beyond the reasons discussed above, like tech support, warranty service and network unlocking, you should really be careful with sharing the IMEI data as it can be misused for purposes like cloning, blocking, and tracking.   

Is IMEI Number Linked to a Person? 

There is no direct relation or linking between the person/owner and IMEI, but together with carrier information, account information, or other personal data, it may be associated with a user. This helps to enable support and finding lost or stolen devices.  

Can IoT Devices Be Used without IMEI? 

IoT devices can be used without IMEI numbers if they work based on Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, LoRaWAN, and other non-cellular options. However, IoT devices that use 2G/3G/4G/5G or NB-IoT need IMEI for network registration, identification, and management.  

1NCE Shop

Buy the 1NCE IoT Lifetime Flat now

Visit the 1NCE Shop and start connecting your IoT devices easily. Simply order your SIM cards, choose the desired type of SIM card and fill out all required forms. After the payment has been approved you get your cards within five to seven business days.