By October 24th 2021, you must dial ten digits (area code + telephone number) for all local calls within the 530 area code. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is requiring this change for 82 prefixes whose local exchanges (central offices) are affected by the establishment of “988” as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
But my phone number doesn’t have 988 in it, why the change?
82 area codes currently permit 7-digit dialing and also use 988 as a central office code – even if your phone number does not. The 530 area code is one of them. Other area codes affected in California are 209, 562, 626, 650, 707, 925, 949, 951. The full list of all 82 area codes affected nationwide can be found here.
A local exchange, also known as a central office code, is the first three numbers of a seven-digit telephone number. To prepare for implementation of a quick way to dial the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – using only “988″ to connect callers to the Lifeline – these area codes must transition to ten-digit dialing for all calls, including local calls.
What do I need to do?
Besides dialing the area code on your phone, nothing. However, if you use a PBX or VoIP phone system, you may need to update or reprogram it for ten-digit dialing. Because ten-digit dialing became available in April 2021 in the areas where seven-digit dialing will be phased out in October 2021, reprogramming of PBX or VoIP systems can begin at any time. The same goes for alarm systems, any auto-dialers and contacts stored in your phone or phone systems.
Update: In California, and in Illinois area code 708, you may be required to dial the number “1” before the area code and seven-digit phone number for local calls.
FCC decision on 988
“In 2020, the FCC established “988” as the new, nationwide three-digit phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The new three-digit dialing code will be available nationwide by July 16, 2022 and will provide an easy to remember and easy to dial three-digit number to reach suicide prevention and mental health counselors, similar to “911” for emergencies and “311” for local government services. To help facilitate the creation of “988”, area codes that use “988” as a local exchange, or the first three digits of a seven-digit phone number, will need to use 10-digit dialing.”