my phone broke and i am not eligible for an upgrade until next May, so i'd like to get a new phone. will they let me cancel my current line and sign up for a new line with a new phone?
I believe there will be a 3 month waiting period before you will be allowed to establish a new line. You will lose your current number (not sure if that matters) with the canceling of the current line along with payment of the ETF (Early Termination Fee).
No - you need to wait
6 months(?) or something like that(I see Spiral has said 3 months; I was guessing, but I knew there was some time period you had to wait) before starting a new account after canceling - if you cancel they will charge you termination fees, or charge you full price for the new phone on the new account.
I would shop ebay, ask friends, see if you can find another source for a phone that will get you through till you can get a discounted phone on your account in May. Find an inexpensive phone somewhere or borrow if possible. Look into Verizon's CPO program (ceritified, pre-owned) - if you have no insurance and are not eligible for an upgrade, you may qualify to get a phone this way, though it MAY extend your contract too.