There are 82 area codes currently permit 7-digit dialing and also use 988 as a central office code. Starting on October 24, anyone that attempts to call a local number in those area codes by using only seven digits will instead be connected to a recording that tells them to hang up and redial using the area code. This change impacts all landline phones, cell phones and VOIP calling systems.
Ten-digit dialing will soon be necessary to make sure that calls to 988 get directed to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The 988 hotline was established by the FCC in July 2020 to make it faster for people to connect to crisis counselors and get help without having to remember a longer toll-free number.
If someone has a seven-digit number that starts with 988, the phone switch will not know whether this call needs to go to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline or to the seven-digit number. By requiring 10-digit dialing, the North American Numbering Plan Administrator is able prevent any confusion to the system.
We wanted to make sure that our members with clients in those areas are aware of this upcoming change.
Area Code Overlay Approved for the Virginia 757 Area Code (PDF)