Telephone users in four Michigan area codes will soon be required to include an area code in every phone call – known as 10-digit dialing – as part of the rollout of a new way to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Callers in Michigan’s 616, 810, 906 and 989 area codes should start dialing with 10 digits (area code plus telephone number) on April 24, 2021, the start date for what’s called a permissive dialing period designed to get customers used to the new requirement of including an area code when dialing, even for local calls.
Beginning Oct. 24, 2021, all consumers with numbers in the affected Michigan area codes must dial 10 digits for all local calls. Beginning that day, local calls dialed with only 7 digits may not be completed, and a recording may inform you that your call cannot be completed as dialed.
The change is in preparation for the July 16, 2022, activation of a new 3-digit dialing code – 988 – to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) designated 988 as the abbreviated dialing code to reach the suicide prevention hotline that provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources, and best practices for professionals. From now until July 16, 2022 individuals must continue to dial 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) to reach the Lifeline.
What other changes need to be made?
Reprogramming of alarms, medical equipment and other communication devices need to be completed during the permissive dialing period running April 24, 2021 to October 24, 2021 to avoid interruption of services. Examples of services that may need to be re-programmed are:
- Life safety systems or medical monitoring devices
- Fax machines
- Internet dial-up numbers
- Fire or burglar alarm and security systems or gates
- Speed dialers
- Mobile or other wireless phone contact lists
- Call forwarding settings
- Voicemail services and other similar functions.
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.
- What is a local call now will remain a local call regardless of the number of digits dialed.
- You will continue to dial 1 plus the area code and the telephone number for all long-distance calls.
- You will continue to dial a prefix such as 9 when dialing from a multi-line telephone system (in a hotel or office building, for example) as required.
- You can still dial just three digits to reach 711 for relay services and 911 for emergency services.
- If 211, 311, 411, 511, 611 or 811 are currently available in your community, you may still dial these codes with just three digits.
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can still be reached by dialing 1-800-273-TALK (8255) even after the 988 code is in effect.
-Information provided by the Michigan Public Service Commission