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10-Digit Dialing FAQ

9/16/21                                                                               Printer Friendly Version

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted 988 as a new three-digit number to be used nationwide to reach the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline, starting July 16, 2022. Customers must continue to dial 1-800-273-TALK to reach the Lifeline until July 16, 2022.

In order for 988 to work within South Dakota’s 605 area code, 10-digit local dialing must first be implemented throughout the state. More information about this change and the steps you can take to prepare for this new requirement are detailed below.

What will be the new dialing procedure?

In South Dakota, to complete all local calls, you will need to dial the 605 area code + telephone number. This applies to all calls within the 605 area code that are currently dialed with seven digits.

Why is this new dialing procedure necessary? 

On July 16, 2020, the FCC adopted an Order (FCC 20-100) approving the designation of 988 as the three-digit abbreviated dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, requiring all telecommunications carriers, interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers, and one-way VoIP providers (covered providers) to make any network changes necessary to ensure that users can dial 988 to reach the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) starting July 16, 2022.

For all area codes where 988 is a working prefix, one of the necessary actions in preparation of change is to convert from 7-digit local dialing to 10-digit dialing prior to the 988 abbreviated code being put into use. This will help ensure everyone is able to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline using the three-digit 988 code.

Who will be affected?

Nationwide, this change will affect 82 area codes spread across 36 states, including South Dakota with its 605 area code. Anyone with a telephone number from one of those area codes will need to make this change from 7-digit local dialing to 10-digit local dialing.

When will this change begin?

The North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) developed, based on input from covered service providers, an implementation schedule that will allow all covered providers to meet the transition deadline in an efficient manner that best accounts for the challenges each covered provider faces.

Beginning April 24, 2021, you should begin dialing 10 digits (area code + telephone number) for all local calls. If you forget and dial just 7 digits, your call will still be completed.

The 10-digit dialing requirement for all local calls will be implemented by South Dakota telecommunications companies from October 24, 2021, through July 15, 2022. Depending on your telephone provider, you must begin to dial 10-digits to complete a local call sometime during that timeframe. Once your provider has implemented the 10-digit dialing requirement, local calls dialed with only 7-digits may not be completed, and a recording will inform you that your call cannot be completed as dialed. You must hang up and dial again using the area code and the 7-digit number. For specific information on the timeline, contact your local telephone provider.

Beginning July 16, 2022, dialing 988 will route your call to National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline.

Will I or anyone I know need to change our phone number?

No. One of the reasons for changing to 10-digit dialing is to avoid the need to change people’s telephone numbers.

What other changes will I need to make?

In addition to changing your dialing patterns, all services, automatic dialing equipment, or other types of equipment that are programmed to complete local calls using only seven-digit numbers will need to be reprogrammed to complete calls to 10-digit numbers. Some examples are:

  • life safety systems or medical monitoring devices (like LifeAlert)
  • Private Branch Exchanges, or PBXs
  • fax machines
  • Internet dial-up numbers
  • fire or burglar alarm and security systems or gates
  • speed dialers
  • mobile or other phone contact lists
  • call forwarding settings
  • voicemail services and other similar functions

Taking the time to update the programmed call settings on your contact lists, home security systems, wearable alarms and calling networks within companies will help ensure all of these systems we rely on will continue working properly long past the required implementation deadline in October of this year.

You should also be sure to check contact information on websites, personal and business stationery, advertising materials, personal and business checks, your personal or pet ID tags, and other such items to ensure the area code is included.

What can I expect to 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 dialing 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+ the area code + telephone number for all long-distance calls made from a landline phone.
  • You will continue to dial a prefix (such as “9”) when dialing from a multi-line telephone system (i.e., in a hotel, office building, etc.) as required.
  • You can still dial just three digits to reach 711 (relay services) and 911 (emergency services).
  • Any 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, or 811 services available in your community can still be reached by dialing their three-digit codes.
  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can still be reached by dialing 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) even after the 988 code is in effect.

Will you be able to dial 988 without a prefix from a multi-line telephone system?

No, you still will need to dial a prefix first when dialing 988 from a multi-line telephone system, where a prefix is required (for example, dialing 9 first from a hotel or office building multi-line telephone system).

Where can I go for additional information?

If you have any questions regarding information provided in this notice, please contact your local service provider for more information. You can also visit the FCC website at https://www.fcc.gov/suicide-prevention-hotline.