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VERIFY: Will your phone number automatically change if your city gets a new area code?

DC will be transitioning to a new area code, 771, after reaching a capacity for 202 numbers. Many on social are wondering if this means they need to change numbers.

WASHINGTON — QUESTION: If a new area code is put in place for a city, does that mean you have to change your current phone number or will lose it if it has the old area code?

ANSWER: You do not need to automatically change your phone number, and you won't automatically lose it with the new area code change either. 



On Tuesday, the D.C. Public Service Commission announced that the iconic 202 phone number will soon retire, making the new batch of incoming phone numbers listed under a new 771 area code for the District.

With the newly announced change comes a lot of chatter online from DC residents, with some worried that the new code will also mean a new number.

But is that true?

The Verify team went straight to the commission who announced the change for answers on how it might impact residents.

If you have a number that already has the 202 area code, it won't change. But when the 771 area code does go live, those placing calls within DC will have to remember to dial 10 digits rather than the seven currently required, since 202 code was the only one in the area. With two area codes possible, you will now need to specify.

So rest assured, if you have a 202 number -- it’s NOT going to change to 771 overnight. 

But what about if you get a new number? 

The commission said the deadline for the new area code would be November 9, 2021.

“If you seek new phone service on and after November 9, 2021, you may be assigned a phone number with the 771 area code," their website reads. So if you plan on getting a new phone number, and you really want 202, you should do so before that deadline.

There's also one more important date to keep in mind: October 9, 2021. That's the day you'll have to include  and specify the area code for local calls inside the District.

So we can Verify that at least for DC, just because there is a new area code coming, doesn't mean you will automatically get a new

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