Starting October 12

Calling a 205 number? You’ll need ten digits from now on.

Dial (205) + the seven-digit number.

The same will apply for new 659 numbers starting November 12.

Who will be affected?

The 205 area code generally covers the west central portion of the state serving communities such as Aliceville, Birmingham, Clanton, Fayetteville, Hamilton, Jasper, Lisman and Tuscaloosa. The new 659 area code will serve the same geographic area currently served by the existing 205 area code.

Why is the change necessary?

To ensure a continuing supply of telephone numbers, the 659 area code is being added to the area served by the 205 area code. Since two area codes will now serve the same geographic region, the area code must be used when dialing any telephone number—including calls within the same area code.

Beginning November 12, 2019, new telephone lines or services may be assigned numbers with the new 659 area code. Callers must use the new dialing procedure for local calls in the new 659 area code

What is the new dialing procedure?

To complete local calls, the new dialing procedure requires callers to dial area code + telephone number or 1 + area code + telephone number. This means that all calls in the 205 area code that are currently dialed with seven digits will need to be dialed using area code + telephone number or 1 + area code + telephone number. The same dialing procedure will apply to telephone numbers assigned to the new 659 area code.

When will this change become mandatory?

Beginning October 12, 2019, you must use the new dialing procedures for all local calls. After this date, if you do not use the new dialing procedures, your calls will not complete and a recording will instruct you to hang up and dial again.

All customers can begin using the new dialing procedure before October 12, 2019.

What will I need to do?

In addition to changing your dialing procedures, all services, automatic dialing equipment, or other types of equipment that are programmed with a 7-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, voicemail services, etc. You may also want to check your business stationery or advertising materials to ensure the area code is included.

What will stay 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.
  • 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.
  • If 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 or 811 are currently available in your community, you will still dial these codes with just three digits.

Who can I contact with questions?

If you have any questions regarding information provided in this notice, please access the following website for more information