PTA DIRBS and IMEI Number Explained

PTA DIRBS Device Verification Explained

Click Here To Check Your Mobile Phone’s PTA TAX.


Its been a long time since we all have been hearing about the PTA’s DIRBS (Device Identification, Registration and Blocking System) and the blocking and approval of smartphones country wide. No matter what type of mobile phone you use, you have to get it approved/registered by PTA by paying the tax imposed by PTA to continue to use your phone normally.

Before we proceed to the working of DIRBS System, there are some common terms used that you need to understand.

  1. IMEI
  2. Invalid IMEI
  3. Valid IMEI
  4. PTA Compliant/Approved IMEI


IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) is a very unique number that is assigned to every smartphone when it is made, and this IMEI number represents your phone where ever in the world your phone is being used.

It is also important to know that if your mobile phone supports dual sim, there will be two IMEI numbers for each sim slot. The IMEI number is assigned to the phone during the manufacturing process, and there is no possibility of two phones having same IMEI number.

Now that you have learned what IMEI is, its time to understand the types of IMEI number.

Invalid IMEI

It is important to know that the IMEI numbers assigned to all the smartphones are issued by an authority known as GSMA (Global System For Mobile Communications). So the IMEI of any mobile phone in world can be checked as Valid or Invalid by the list of approved IMEI’s issued by GSMA.

Invalid IMEI’s take place in following situations:

Some low level mobile phone brands assign invalid or self made IMEI’s to their smartphones just to avoid a very low fee charged by GSMA to provide a Valid IMEI. So these become Invalid IMEI’s.

In other cases, some local mobile phone dealers or retailers swap the IMEI numbers of new phones with the old phones and also re-flash the smartphones with Invalid IMEI’s to avoid the approval fee charged by authorities.

In the cases discussed above, the phones IMEI becomes INVALID.

Valid IMEI

Valid IMEI’s are those which are approved by the GSMA but not approved/registered by PTA. In this case you have to register your smartphone with PTA by paying the tax imposed according to the price of your mobile phone.

PTA Compliant/Approved IMEI

All the mobile phones imported in Pakistan through legal channels are bound to be registered by PTA in order to ensure their normal working. If a person or a company imports a quantity of smartphones, they have to provide a list of IMEI numbers of the imported smartphones to PTA and pay the PTA Registration fee, otherwise those phones will be banned by PTA and will not work on any mobile network.

Once the registration fee is paid, PTA registers these phones in their DIRBS System as legal, hence these phones become PTA APPROVED / PTA COMPLIANT.

How to Get the IMEI number of your Mobile Phone

  • Open the dial pad
  • Dial *#06#

A screen will pop-up, showing the IMEI number of your mobile phone.

Two IMEI numbers will be displayed if your mobile phone supports dual sim.

The pop-up screen will look similar to this depending on what phone you are using

How to check if your phone’s IMEI is Valid / Invalid / Compliant / Non Compliant

If you have bought a mobile phone from an unreliable source, you can check the status of your device by following one of these methods:


  • Open the website
  • Enter your 15 Digit IMEI number
  • Press ‘Check’

Status of your device will be shown on next page.

Through SMS

  • Go to New Message option on your device.
  • Type the 15 Digit IMEI number
  • Send it to 8484

You will receive an SMS from PTA showing your device’s status.

By using PTA’s Android Application

  • Enter your device’s IMEI number to check the status.

You can also scan the IMEI of another device to check its status.

Never forget to check the device’s status before buying


You Should Know the Meaning of these Commonly Used Terms

  • Valid IMEI: It means that your phone’s IMEI is approved by GSMA but not approved by PTA.
  • Invalid IMEI: Not Approved by GSMA, also Not Approved by PTA.
  • Compliant IMEI: It means your IMEI is both GSMA approved and PTA approved.

Who Needs to Get their Phone’s Registered by PTA

  • You have to get your phone registered by PTA in following cases:
  • You bought a phone from and untrusted source (check if it needs PTA Approval).
  • You bought a phone from abroad and came to Pakistan. (it will only work in Pakistan for 60 days if not approved).
  • You ordered a phone online and it came from abroad.
  • You bought a phone from someone who imported it. (check if it needs approval)
  • Your relative or a friend came from abroad and gifted you.

Benefits of DIRBS System

  • You can get your device blocked by PTA if it is stolen or snatched.
  • Some evil minded retailers can not sell a refurbished device to you.
  • You will get 100% legal devices and many other hidden benefits.

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