Mandatory 10-Digit Dialing Becomes Effective on October 24, 2021 for Multiple States/Area Codes
988 Becomes Available Nationwide on July 16, 2022
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted “988” as a new 3-digit number to be used nationwide to reach the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline, starting July 16, 2022.
- Wireless customers may dial either 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach the Lifeline now.
- Landline customers must continue to dial 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach the Lifeline until July 16, 2022.
For “988” to work for everyone with a telephone number in the below list of area codes, 10-digit local dialing (or 1+10-digit dialing for wireline customers in the area codes below with an asterisk) must be implemented.
If your area code is included in the list below, you need to dial the area code for all local calls starting on October 24, 2021.
* 1 + 10-digit dialing is required for landline customers.
What is the new dialing procedure?
To complete all local calls, you need to dial either the area code + telephone number or 1 + area code + telephone number (see above). This applies to all calls within your area code that are currently dialed with seven digits.
Who is affected?
Anyone with a telephone number from the area codes listed above needs to make this change from 7-digit local dialing to 10-digit local dialing (or 1+10-digit local dialing as noted above).
Why is the dialing change needed?
The area codes listed above have a 988 working prefix. Mandatory 10-digit dialing for all local calls in these area codes must be implemented so that 988 can be used as the new 3-digit number to reach the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline.
When did the dialing change begin?
As of April 24, 2021, you have the ability to dial the area code + telephone number for all local calls and we encourage you to do so. If you forget and dial just 7 digits, your call will still be completed.
Beginning October 24, 2021, you must dial the area code + telephone number (or 1 + the area code + telephone number as applicable) for all local calls. On and after this date, local calls dialed with only 7 digits may not be completed, and a recording may inform you that your call cannot be completed as dialed. If you get this recording, you must hang up and dial again using the area code and the 7-digit number.
Beginning July 16, 2022, dialing “988” will route your call to the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline.
What do you need to do?
Before October 24, 2021, in addition to changing the way you dial local calls, all services, automatic dialing equipment, or other types of equipment that are programmed to complete calls to 7-digit local numbers will need to be reprogrammed to complete calls to 10-digit (or 1+10-digit) numbers, including the area code. Some examples are: life safety systems and medical monitoring devices, PBXs, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, fire or burglar alarm systems, other security systems or gates, speed dialers, mobile or other wireless phone contact lists, call forwarding settings, voicemail services, and other similar functions. Be sure to check your website, personal and business stationery, advertising materials, personal and business checks, contact information, your personal or pet ID tags, and other such items to ensure the area code is included.
- Your telephone number, including current area code, will not change.
- The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to this dialing change.
- What is a local call now will remain a local call regardless of the number of digits dialed.
- You will continue to dial 1 + area code + telephone number for all long distance calls.
- You can still dial just three digits to reach 911 (emergency services) and 711 (relay services), as well as 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, or 811 where those services are available in your community.
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can still be reached by dialing 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Can you still dial 1-800-273-TALK to reach the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline?
Yes, you can dial 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach the Lifeline now (wireless customers can dial 988 now too). Starting July 16, 2022, everyone can dial either 988 or 1-800-273-TALK to reach the Lifeline.
Is 988 a new area code?
No, “988” is a new 3-digit code that may be used to reach the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline, starting on July 16, 2022.