As a Google Voice user, one thing that has always peeved me is that if I were to change my GV number, I would lose the old one after 90 days. Past that, if anyone tries to call or text the old number, it's lost into oblivion, never to be seen again (until someone else gets it). Google has taken note of this vexing problem and addressed it accordingly.

Now, when you choose to change or port your number, you can keep your existing number for a one-time fee of $20. This means that calls or texts that are sent to the old number will still come through. But, it is worth noting that when you call or text someone, your new primary number will display on the caller ID. This may be a plus or a minus, depending on how you look at it.

To keep your old number on a permanent basis after getting a new number or porting your mobile number to Google Voice, all you have to do is log in to your Voice account, hit the Settings tab, and click "make permanent" next to the number that you want to keep. You'll be charged at that time, and your old number is yours to keep forever.

[Google Voice Blog via Engadget]

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Phill W

    I was an early user of Google Voice. But I had problems with my phone ringing. I would have my wife call my phone and we could hear it ring on her side 5 times before it rang the first time on my phone. I am a Sprint customer.
    I finally decided to drop the gv number and switched back to my original Sprint number. Now my phone rings on the second ring when my wife calls.

    • PhoneUser

      ".. we could hear it ring on her side 5 times before it rang the first time on my phone."

      I know how annoying that can be. Although this effect is almost certainly connected to the Google Voice technology, I think you'll find that your experience is not typical of GV users, overall.

      The number of false rings ('provider ring') heard by the caller can and does vary with the carrier's system and even the type of phone (ie: analog vs digital) in use at the receiving end.

    • John M

      Could you provide some additional details? I would actually like my phone to never ring when my wife calls. Thanks in advance,

      • Big Taters

        Buttermilk Buscuits.

  • Spencer

    I see a possible concern. Farming numbers and selling them. I am going to guess that one possible step in the future is you can relinquish a number or even give that number to someone else. That would inherently produce a problem of people selling numbers to other people. Kind of how there are domain name farmers and you cannot get the domain name for the cost of ICANN registration, but you now have to buy 1-800-IMSOCOOL. Both methods I find abhorrent.

  • bobtentpeg

    I wish that I could just add a number, and keep my old one as the primary.

    • http://www.thefabulousphotobooth.com Ben Bigelow

      You can, I did just that. Just make it that in your settings tab. Also, download the Voice app for google voice. I am a Sprint User. I just figured out today how to have two phone numbers and it seems to be working flawlessly on my computer.

      • theBIG

        Ben, I hope you return back here to reply.

        I just learned of GV/Sprint integration today, when I had to reformat/restore my phone. I *have* to maintain the use of both #s on my phone, and am *hating* the forced integration (once reformatted, I can no longer set it up the traditional way, where I choose which # to call from--it's forcing me to give one number up.)

        How have you figured to keep two numbers, and is it just on your PC, or on your phone?

  • http://www.t-mobile.com tmogeek

    Thanks! Great article. Ported my T-Mobile number to gvoice. Kept my old gvoice number so I didn't have to notify anyone of the change.

  • Justjennrocks

    my mom 86ed my att number anyway i can port that old number to gv?

  • Teo Graca

    UPDATE: Just checked - $10 now to change your number plus $20 to keep the old number...

  • Francis Potter

    Is there a limit of two numbers per account? I added one, but couldn't add a second. If that's the case, then you may want to retitle this post to say "Two Numbers" instead of "Multiple Numbers" to be more accurate.

  • BeFoundRI.com

    Here is the Google Voice Article on doing this. http://support.google.com/voice/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=115136

  • tynia

    how can i get a new google voice number the first number needs to be deleted and I need to pick another area code

  • Joe McCullough

    I have separate businesses and want separate goggle voice numbers for each as I have separate Gmail's for each and I want them to all funnel to my personal android phone but when I activate one number the other number doesn't ring thru? what gives

  • Jeremiah GrayBeard

    Hey Cameron, I have a number thru Google voice. It is a number for a business I'm building in CO. I live part time in TN, and am ALSO building a business in GA. I want to have a number for GA. After that I will have 2 numbers through google voice, 1 for CO, and 1 for GA, which both will be forwarded to my Sprint phone based out of TN. How can I add a number in google voice (including picking a GA based number), and keep BOTH numbers? You may have kind of already answered this question, but as I am NOT tech savy, please forgive me. Thanks- Jeremiah

  • Fifi

    We have a 2nd voice number, starting July 28th. Although I can call and reach the voice mail that I set up. I'm not able to view the new number in my gmail account. I only see the original number. I was hoping to go to settings and make adjustments for new number but I don't see the new number anywhere. In addition when we requested another phone number it did not ask us for payment of $20.00