SACRAMENTO, Calif .– As of Sunday, residents who use nine California area codes – including area code 530 with numbers originating in Davis, South Lake Tahoe, Placerville, Auburn, Grass Valley, Woodland, Marysville, and Yuba City , and most of Sacramento Valley north of the capital – will have to dial using 10 digits to make phone calls due to a change in federal rules to facilitate access to nationwide crisis resources.
The change will affect eight other California area codes elsewhere, including area code 209 in Stockton and Modesto.
With the weekend change, thousands more California residents will need to dial the area code of the desired phone number first, followed by the remaining seven digits. Most cell phones already automatically add a 1 in front of dialed area codes, which is necessary to end calls and that add up to 11 digits, but some affected residents may also need to manually add a 1 before the area code.
Calls attempted without the necessary three-digit area code – with a 1 in front of it – will not be terminated and callers will be notified to hang up and try again.
Where are the changes taking place?
The California area codes affected are:
—209, which covers Stockton, Modesto and surrounding areas.
—530, which covers most of the state from the north east to Del Norte County and north of Roseville. Includes most of Yolo, Placer and El Dorado counties.
-562, which covers Long Beach and part of Orange County.
—626, which covers most of the San Gabriel Valley, including Pasadena.
—650, which covers most of San Mateo County and parts of Santa Clara County, including Palo Alto.
-707, which covers the northern California coast, including Napa, Vacaville and Fairfield.
—925, which covers parts of the East Bay, including parts of Alameda and Contra Costa counties.
-949, which covers southern Orange County.
—951, which covers western Riverside County.
If your phone number begins with one of these area codes, you will need to add a few more digits when you want to make a local call in the area.
In July 2020, the Federal Communications Commission passed new rules that established 988 as a quick way to dial the national lifeline for suicide prevention, similar to 911 for emergency calls.
In the United States, 82 area codes that currently operate with seven-digit calls – including the nine California area codes that will soon be affected – use 988 as their central office code, allowing easier dialing.
To ensure that all callers trying to reach the national suicide prevention lifeline were successful in their calls, those 82 area codes had to switch to the 10-digit call.
Starting July 16, callers dialing 988 will automatically be directed to the lifeline. Until then, callers will need to dial the full number for crisis assistance.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides confidential assistance to anyone in crisis and their loved ones via live chat and a free 24-hour hotline: (800) 273-8255.
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