Officials with the Missouri Public Service Commission, the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) and the telecommunications industry remind phone customers to continue preparing for a new area code, 235, to be used in the current 573 area code region.
As part of the process of introducing the new area code, customers should prepare for 10-digit local dialing.
The 235 area code will be added as an overlay to the 573 region. An overlay is the addition of another area code to the same geographic region served by an existing area code, meaning both area codes will be in use, officials explain.
Customers will not need to change their existing area code, but the overlay does require customers to dial the area code to complete local calls.
“Customers are reminded that the 573 area code is not going away and if they have a telephone number with the 573 area code, they will not lose or have to change their telephone number,” said Public Service Commission Chairman Scott Rupp. “An overlay is a more efficient and less disruptive way to alleviate the exhaustion of available telephone numbers which is occurring in the 573 area code.”
A six-month permissive dialing period will begin Saturday to give consumers time to adjust to the dialing changes. During this period, local calls can be made with either seven or 10 digits, and all calls that are local will continue to be local even when callers dial 10 digits.
Beginning Feb. 24, 2024, all local calls made within the 573 area code must be placed using 10 digits — the area code plus the seven-digit telephone number. On and after that date, calls placed using just seven digits will not be completed.
Starting March 24, 2024, said officials, new telephone lines or services may be assigned numbers using the new 235 area code.
Callers can still dial three digits to reach 911 for emergencies and 988 for mental health crises, as well as 211 for information, 311 for nonemergency complaints and information calls, 511 for the Missouri Department of Transportation Traveler Information line, and 811 to call before digging to have utilities located, where available.