People will have to dial the 509 area code along with the seven-digit phone number, even for local calls to the 996, 997 and 341 exchanges, starting Oct. 24.
Only long-distance calls require people to dial a ‘1’ before the area code.
The change is part of a nationwide plan to allow everyone in the country to be able to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline using just the three-digit code of 988. That access will be available starting next July.
The switch to 10-digit dialing won’t affect the price of calls, coverage areas, whether a call is local or long-distance, rates and services, or existing three-digit lines such as 911 or 211. The update won’t change any phone numbers.
People will need to update any phone numbers saved in their phone memory or contact lists to add the 509 area code. People should also remember to add the area code to business cards, stationery, personal and pet ID tags, and other documents containing their phone number.
The 509 area code was the only one left in Washington that hadn’t switched to 10-digit dialing.
Starting July 16, 2022, dialing 988 will route calls to the suicide lifeline. Until then, callers can reach the hotline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).