San Francisco, CA–The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Thursday acted to ensure that phone numbers continue to be available to meet the demand in the geographic region served by the 209 area code by approving a second area code (called an overlay) that will provide additional numbering resources while minimizing customer inconvenience.
The new area code to overlay the 209 area code is 350.
The 209 area code, serving portions of Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Escalon, Fresno, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne counties, is projected to run out of available prefixes (the first three numbers after the area code in a phone number) by the fourth quarter of 2022. The CPUC’s action approves the request of the North American Numbering Plan Administrator, the neutral third-party area code relief planner for California, for approval of an area code overlay to provide additional numbering resources to meet the demand for telephone numbers.
An area code overlay adds a second area code to the geographic region served by the existing area code. Therefore, multiple area codes co-exist within the same geographic region. Existing 209 customers will retain their area code and specific telephone number(s). Customers will continue to dial the three-digit area code for all calls to and from telephone numbers with the 209 and 350 area codes. The price of a call will not change due to the overlay. Customers can still dial just three digits to reach 911, as well as 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711, and 811.
Below are some tips to help prepare for the area code overlay:
● Contact security or alarm vendors to update dial-up numbers to avoid break-ins of security routines and contacts.
● Reprogram equipment or features, i.e., automatic dial, speed-dial, call forwarding, modems for computer or Internet dial-up access, etc.
● Update items like stationery, checks, etc., to include your area code + telephone number.
● Provide your area code and telephone number, not just the telephone number, as needed.
● When asking for someone’s number, remember to ask for the area code, too.
● Remember that the previous area code and the new area code will co-exist within the same geographic region.
The 209 area code was created when it split off from the 415 area code in 1958. It was split again in 1997 to form the 559 area code. The 209 area code serves the cities of Angels Camp, Atwater, Ceres, Dos Palos, Galt, Gustine, Hughson, Ione, Lathrop, Livingston, Lodi, Los Banos, Manteca, Merced, Modesto, Newman, Oakdale, Patterson, Plymouth, Ripon, Riverbank, Sonora, Stockton, Tracy, Turlock, and Waterford. The 209 area code also covers Yosemite National Park and Kirkwood Mountain Resort.