Sonoma County switches to 10-digit dialing starting Sunday

Residents will need to include the three-digit area code before a seven-digit phone number to make local calls.|

Starting Sunday, Sonoma County residents will need to include the three-digit 707 area code before a seven-digit phone number to make local calls.

Sonoma County is one of more than 80 area codes switching to a 10-digit dialing system, according to the North American Numbering Plan Administrator.

The dialing system is changing because the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is transitioning from 1-800-273-8255 to 988 so that people in crisis can connect to the confidential line more quickly, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

Dozens of area codes in the United States already use 988 as their local exchange, or the first three digits of a seven-digit phone number. Unless these area codes switch to 10-digit dialing, they will not be able to reach the lifeline.

The transition will not affect anyone’s current phone number. Long-distance calls still will need to include 1 before the area code.

Callers who dial a seven-digit number after the switch is made will hear a recording that explains the call cannot be completed. Callers will need to hang up and redial with the 10-digit number.

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