For Immediate ReleaseFebruary 18, 2015
Starting February 21, callers must add area codes to all calls – even local ones
San Rafael, CA – The County of Marin would like to remind local residents that it will be necessary to dial the area code for all telephone calls starting February 21 except for special three-digit numbers such as 911.
A new area code – 628 – is being added to the area served by the existing 415 area code to accommodate demand for new phone numbers. The 415 area code generally covers most of Marin, the County of San Francisco and a small portion of San Mateo County.
The County of Marin notified the community about the impending change in a July 2014 news release. The following month, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the 415 Public Education Program Task Force began urging Marin residents to use area codes when dialing all numbers to get used to the habit.
The process, called an overlay, is the addition of another area code to the same geographic region as an existing area code. An overlay does not require customers to change their existing area code.
The change has been in the works since 1998, when the CPUC was first petitioned for the new 628 area code. Number conservation efforts extended the life of the existing 415 area code since then. Marin has been in the 415 area code since it was first established in 1947.
Beginning Saturday, February 21, calls made with seven digits will not be completed and a recording will provide instruction to hang up and dial again. Beginning March 21, new telephone lines or services may be assigned numbers with the 628 area code.
Businesses are advised that all services, automatic dialing equipment, or other types of equipment that are programmed with a seven-digit number will need to be reprogrammed to use the new dialing procedures. Some examples are life-safety systems, PBXs, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems, gates, speed dialers, call forwarding settings and voicemail services. Businesses are advised to add the area code to company stationery or advertising materials as well.
The price of a local call will remain the same. Dialing 911 as well as 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 and 811 will be permitted.
Questions about the dialing procedure change should be directed to local service providers or the Consumer Affairs division of the California Utilities Commission at 1-800-649-7570. Visit the CPUC website to share comments or find more information.
Brent AinsworthPublic Information SpecialistCounty Administrator's Office
3501 Civic Center DriveSuite #325San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-3084Email: Brent AinsworthCounty Administrator website