New area code overlay coming to Southern California’s 909 next year

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Southern California residents and businesses in the 909 area code need to get ready for the overlay of an 840 area code and a change in dialing procedure, state regulators said Thursday.

The overlay is intended to ensure a continuing supply of telephone numbers in southwestern San Bernardino County, eastern Los Angeles County and small portions of Orange and Riverside counties.

The overlay will require customers to dial 1 plus the three-digit area code for all calls from telephone numbers with 909 and 840 area codes, including local calls, the California Public Utilities Commission said.

Phone customers with a 909 number can begin using the new dialing procedure on July 25 and it will become mandatory on Jan. 23, 2021.

Three-digit dialing for numbers such as 911 will be unaffected.

The overlay will not require current 909 customers to change their telephone number or area code, but beginning Feb. 23 requests for new or additional numbers may be assigned either 840 or 909 numbers, depending on availability.

The commission says customers should reprogram equipment that uses seven-digit dialing including auto-dialers, voicemail services, alarms and medical monitoring systems.

Updates may also be necessary for items ranging from business cards and advertisements to pet ID tags, if they don’t already include the area code.

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