Mandatory 10-digit dialing begins this week

Posted at 12:35 PM, Jul 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-31 14:35:49-04

Beginning this Saturday, August 5, Idahoans will need to dial the area code along with the seven-digit telephone number in order to make a local call, according to the Idaho Public Utilities Commission.   

The PUC approved a new area code for Idaho back in December of 2015 to address the need for additional phone numbers. To implement the new area code, the Commission also approved mandatory ten-digit dialing for all of Idaho. 

“The new area code –- 986 -- will cover the entire state.  As numbers are needed, assignments may be made out of the new 986 area code beginning on Sept. 5th,” said PUC spokesman Matt Evans. “Some areas in the state are expected to exhaust their supply of numbers with the 208 area code before other areas.”

On August 5, all calls made within Idaho must be placed using the ten-digit telephone number. If consumers dial only seven digits, the call will not complete -- and the caller will hear an announcement instructing them to redial with the area code included.     

Here are some important facts to remember about the change:

-Your current telephone number, including current area code, will not change.

-Consumers will continue to dial 1 + area code + telephone number to complete long distance calls. 

-A local call will remain a local call.  

-The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change.

-Calling 911 will not change. 

-Consumers will continue to dial three digits to reach 211 and 811, as well as 311 and 511, where available. 

“It is important that consumers confirm that all services, automatic dialing equipment, applications, software or other types of equipment recognize the new 986 area code. This may include life-safety systems, fax machines, internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems, gates, ankle monitors, speed dialers, mobile phone contact lists, call forwarding settings, voicemail services and similar functions,” Evans explained.

Consumers should also check business stationery, advertising materials, personal checks and personal or pet ID tags to ensure the area code is included in the telephone number.