Leave your name and number
Athens News, 20 November 2009

The privilege of anonymity enjoyed by those using prepaid mobile phones has been abolished in Greece, under new legislation that came into force on November 8.

Current users of prepaid mobile phones can keep their pay-as-you-go plan by submitting an application to their provider that gives their personal details, including name, address, Greek ID or passport.

Those failing to comply during the transition period will have their SIM cards disabled, rendering their phones inoperable. As for immigrants, only those who are legal residents of Greece will be able to get a prepaid mobile phone number.

There are an estimated 13.5 million anonymous prepaid mobile phone cards in Greece, 9 million of which are active. Of those, only 5 million of the users are identified.

The government has presented the law as one that will reduce crime.

What is this all about?
The new law (3783/2009) requires users of prepaid mobiles to register their phones and SIM card numbers.

By when?
As of November 8, all new prepaid mobile phone subscribers have had to present identification when taking out a new prepaid subscription. For owners of older prepaid deals, the registration deadline is 30 July 2010.

And what are the penalties for those who don't comply?
lf the registration isn't completed by July 30, the phone connection will be disabled and any existing credit lost.

Will that mean I'll lose my number?
No, but it will remain blocked until you submit your registration details. Once done, the number will be reactivated.

Can I register online?
No. Registration can only be completed, in person, at your telephone service provider. In other words, at a shop or agent of Cosmote, Germanos, Vodafone or Wind.

What about phones owned by my child?
The phone must be registered in the name of a parent. If the phone is used by a minor (under 18 years of age), then the child's personal details must also be registered. The same principle applies to any case where a mobile phone is used by anyone else other than the owner.

What documents do I need to register?
In addition to the application form, registrants must present their ID or passport. Non-EU citizens must present a valid residency document.

What happens if my phone is stolen?
If it's registered, users can contact their mobile phone provider to have the number disabled.

Will my name and number appear in a mobile phone book?
If you wish, yes. Each applicant will be asked if he or she wishes the number to appear in phone directories.

I live abroad. How can I register?
If you don't intend to visit Greece before the July 2010 deadline, but want to keep your phone active, you will need to complete an affidavit (dilosi) at your nearest Greek embassy or consulate, nominating a representative to carry out the registration in Greece on your behalf.