Ten-digit dialing will become mandatory for many Kansans beginning this fall. In the meantime, those with 620 and 785 area codes are encouraged to begin the practice of pressing 10 digits for local calls starting Saturday.
The move stems from the Federal Trade Commission’s approval of 988 as the abbreviated prefix for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The prefix is utilized by some with 620 and 785 area codes, which comprise the vast majority of the state.
Residents with 913 and 316 area codes can continue using seven digits for local calls. In making the switch, Kansans are set to be joined by 82 other area codes in 36 states.
The move is designed to limit problems for those attempting to reach the suicide prevention lifeline. Starting July 16, 2022, it can be reached by dialing 988. The current number remains 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).
“Ten-digit dialing will help those in crisis reach the appropriate resources during their time of need,” said Governor Laura Kelly in a press release. “I encourage all Kansans to get used to using ten-digit dialing during the trial period to avoid any confusion after October 24, 2021.”
During the six-month practice period, calls made using seven digits will still go through. Once in effect, 911 (emergency services), 711 (relay services), and other three-digit abbreviated numbers available within those communities are exceptions to the 10-digit rule. Additionally, callers must still dial “1” plus the full number for long-distance calls.
• When dialing from a multi-line telephone system like at an office or hotel, callers will still need to dial a prefix such as 9, according to the press release. As a result, all services and automatic-dialing equipment will need to be reprogrammed to reflect 10-digit numbers.
Examples include life safety systems, medical monitoring devices, security systems, fire alarms, speed dialers, mobile phone contact lists, and call forwarding settings.
• After the change is officially in effect, those with 620 and 785 area codes are advised by the state to check contact information on all personal and business items, including pet tags, to verify that the area code is included.
For additional information pertaining to the change, the Kansas Corporation Commission can be reached at (800) 662-0027 or (785) 271-3140.