The way we dial phone numbers with area codes 775 and 530 has changed as of today, Sunday. In order to add “988” as a national suicide hotline, all areas of the country that had a prefix of 988 will need to upgrade to a 10-digit requirement on all local calls.
Northern Nevada, South Lake Tahoe and the rest of El Dorado County are affected, with phone users now having to dial 10 digits (area code + phone number) for all local calls. Local calls dialed with only seven digits may not connect, and a recording will inform you that your call cannot be ended as dialed. You must hang up and dial again using the area code and the seven-digit number.
In addition to 775 in northern Nevada and 530 in California, area codes 209, 562, 626, 650, 707, 925, 949, 951 are affected. In Nevada, 775 numbers will now require 10-digit dialing. Go here for a complete list of affected area codes.
There are 79 additional area codes in 35 states and one US territory that currently use “988” as their local exchange and allow seven-digit dialing. A local exchange, also known as an exchange code, consists of the first three digits of a seven-digit telephone number.
To prepare for the implementation of a quick way to dial the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – using only “988” to connect callers to the lifeline – these area codes should be upgraded to 10 dialing digits for all calls, including local calls. The three-digit Lifeline number will not be available until summer 2022, however.
A ten-digit dialed phone call requires entering both the three-digit area code and the seven-digit phone number to end the call, even if the area code is the same area code as yours. When an area code changes to ten-digit dialing, you will no longer be able to dial seven digits to make a local call.
Most of the phone numbers in our SMS network already have the area code in our directories, as well as a 1-. These will not have to change.
There are several examples of everyday equipment and items that may need to be reprogrammed to include the full 10-digit number: life safety systems or medical surveillance devices, PBXs, fax machines, telephone numbers. Internet access, fire or burglar alarms, security systems or gates, speed dials, mobile or other wireless telephone contact lists, call forwarding settings, voicemail services and other similar functions. Also, be sure to check your website, personal and business stationery, advertising material, personal and business checks, contact information, personal or pet ID tags and the like for make sure the area code is included.
According to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), if your business uses a PBX or VoIP phone system, you may need to update or reprogram it for ten-digit dialing. Since ten-digit numbering was made available in April 2021 in areas where seven-digit numbering will be phased out, these systems may have already been reprogrammed.
The transition to ten-digit dialing will not affect your current phone number. Your phone number, including your area code, will not change. In California and Illinois area code 708, you may need to dial the number “1” before the area code and the seven-digit phone number for local calls.
There are more phones in America than there are people, and every phone needs its own phone number. Beginning in the early 1990s, to meet the growing need for additional phone numbers, some areas began adding a second area code for local calls. It was necessary to dial both the area code and the seven-digit number to ensure that the call reached the intended recipient. As more area codes start to run out of new seven-digit numbers to assign, a second local area code may be added, forcing that region to switch to ten-digit dialing.