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There are many cell phone companies that operate in the San Francisco area. Some major carriers include: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Metro PCS. Monthly contracts and prepaid services are available with most cell phone companies. A new SIM card will need to be purchased if you would like to access cellular data services.

Generally you will be asked to provide the following:

  • Valid Photo ID (Passport or California Driver's License or California ID Card)
  • Date of Birth
  • Local Address

Some cell phone companies will ask for a Social Security Number. This is not a requirement. When signing up for service plans, inquire with the cell phone company about service plans that do not require a Social Security Number. In most cases, cell phone companies can offer you a service plan that requires you to pay a deposit in lieu of a Social Security Number.

Making Phone Calls

Calling in the U.S. may be different from your home country. There are many different “area codes” depending on where you live. For example, the area code in San Francisco is 415. Here are some helpful tips & important numbers to save onto your phone.

Type of Call

How to Call


Call 911. This is the national emergency number for the police, ambulance, and fire department

Outside the U.S.

Call 011 + country code + city code + phone number

Within the U.S.

Call 1 + three digit area code + seven digit phone number

CCA Public Safety

Call 415.703.9510. This is the campus number for any escort, lost & found, and reporting incidents or suspicious activity