GENESEE COUNTY — Genesee County residents who have an 810 area code will soon have to include their area code when making calls, due to a change at the national level by the FCC.
On July 16, 2020, the FCC approved the designation of 988 as the 3-digit dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). As a result, this will require some callers to transition from using 7-digit dialing to mandatory 10-digit dialing for local calls.
Four area codes in Michigan will be affected by the change, including 810, 989, 616 and 906. Residents who are impacted will need to dial their area code and their telephone number but will not need to change their numbers. No extra charges will be incurred when callers use their area codes.
However, affected residents may need to reprogram their automatic dialing equipment or other equipment to include the 10-digit number, such as: life safety and security alarm systems, medical devices, fax machines, speed dialers, wireless phone contact lists, call forward settings and voicemail.
Residents are also advised to check websites, advertising material and personal ID tags (etc.) to see if they need to be updated. Existing three-digit phone services like 911 and 211 will not be impacted.
The 10-digit area code change will be implemented on April 24 for local calls. If you forget and dial just 7-digits, your call will still be completed. 10-digit dialing will be mandatory on Oct. 24.
The National Suicide Hotline will transition to its 988 number beginning on July 16, 2022. Until then, callers can dial 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) to reach the hotline.
For questions, contact your current service provider or visit the FCC’s website at fcc.gov/suicide-prevention-hotline. — B.G.