To ensure a continuing supply of telephone numbers, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) approved the new area code 640 to be added to the same geographic area currently served by the existing area code 609. This process is known as an area code overlay, and requires a new dialing procedure. In connection with this overlay, all seven-digit dialed calls between area codes 609 and 856 will be eliminated and will require a new dialing procedure as well. Get ready to change the way you dial your calls!
What is an area code overlay?
An area code overlay is the addition of another area code (640) to the same geographic region as an existing area code (609). An overlay does not require customers to change their existing area code, but does require them to dial the area code and the seven-digit telephone number on calls within the same area code.
In connection with this overlay, all seven-digit dialed calls between area codes 609 and 856 will be eliminated and callers will be required to dial 1 + area code + seven-digit telephone number instead.
Who will be affected?
Anyone with a 609 area code is affected. The 609 area code serves portions of central and southeastern New Jersey, and the new 640 area code will serve that same geographic area.
In addition, anyone with an 856 area code using just seven digits to dial calls from the 856 area code to the 609 area code is affected.
What will be the new dialing procedures?
To complete calls from a 609 area code to another 609 area code telephone number, the new dialing procedure requires callers to dial the area code + telephone number. This means that all calls within the 609 area code that are currently dialed with seven digits will need to be dialed using ten digits, that is, the area code + telephone number. The same dialing procedures will apply to telephone numbers assigned to the new 640 area code.
In addition, calls made from the 609 area code to the 856 area code that are currently dialed with seven digits will need to be dialed using 1 + area code + telephone number. The same dialing changes will apply to calls made from the 856 area code to the 609 area code. Local calls made within the 856 area code can continue to be dialed with just seven digits.
Following is a summary of the new dialing procedures:
|Call From||Call To||New Dialing Procedure|
|609 or 640||609 or 640||Area code + 7-digit telephone number|
|609 or 640||856 or any area code other than 609 or 640||1 + area code + 7-digit telephone number|
|856||609 or 640 or any area code other than 856||1 + area code + 7-digit telephone number|
|856||856||7-digit telephone number|
When will the change begin?
Effective January 20, 2018, the permissive dialing period begins and you should start using the new dialing procedures whenever you place a call from the 609 and 856 area codes. If you forget and dial just seven digits, your call will still be completed.
Beginning August 18, 2018, you must use the new dialing procedures, as described above, for calls made from the 609 and 856 area codes. On and after this date, if you do not use the new dialing procedures, your calls will not be completed and a recording will instruct you to hang up and dial again using the area code.
Beginning September 17, 2018, new telephone lines or services in the 609 area may be given numbers from the new 640 area code.
What will you need to do?
In addition to changing your dialing procedures, all services, automatic dialing equipment, or other types of equipment that are programmed to dial a seven-digit number from a 609 area code will need to be reprogrammed to use the new dialing procedures, as well as any equipment that is programmed to dial a seven-digit number from a 856 area code to a 609 area code telephone number (Equipment programmed to dial a seven-digit number from an 856 area code to an 856 area code does not need to be reprogrammed). Some examples of such equipment are life safety systems and medical monitoring devices, stored telephone numbers in contact lists in phones, PBXs, fax machines, ankle monitors, Internet dial-up numbers, alarm security systems and gates, speed dialers, call forwarding settings, voicemail services, etc. Please contact your medical alert or security provider if you don’t know whether your equipment needs to be reprogrammed to accommodate the new dialing procedures. You may also want to check your personal and business stationery, checks, advertising materials, websites, contact information, and personal or pet ID tags to ensure the area code is included in the telephone number.
What will remain the same?
• Your telephone number, including current area code, will not change.
• The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the overlay or the change in dialing procedures.
• What is a local call now will remain a local call regardless of the number of digits dialed.
• You can still dial just three digits to reach 911, as well as 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 and 811.
Who may you contact with questions?
If you have any questions regarding information provided in this notice, please call your service provider or access you service provider’s website for more information. You can also visit the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities’ website at http://www.nj.gov/bpu/ for further information.