California to get new area code

New area code starts Jan. 23

The need for an increase in telephone numbers has led to the implementation of a different way to dial a local phone number with the area code in the 909 designated area, according to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Also with new telephone lines or services, numbers that are in the 909 area code district, an area code overlay is going to be in effect soon after. The new area code that will be added to the 909 region is 840.

All customers who have a 909 or 840 area code telephone number will be affected. The 909 area code serves the southwestern portion of San Bernardino County, the eastern portion of Los Angeles County and small portions of Orange and Riverside Counties. The 909 area code serves the cities of Big Bear Lake, Calimesa, Chino, Chino Hills, Claremont, Colton, Diamond Bar, Eastvale, Fontana, Grand Terrace, Highland, Industry, La Verne, Loma Linda, Montclair, Ontario, Pomona, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, Rialto, San Bernardino, San Dimas, Upland, Walnut and Yucaipa. The new 840 area code will serve the same geographic area currently served by the existing 909 area code.

Beginning Jan. 23, you must use the new dialing procedures for all calls. After this date, if you do not use the new procedures, your calls will not be completed and a recording will instruct you to hang up and dial again including the area code.

The new dialing procedure requires anyone with a 909 or 840 area code to dial 1 plus area code plus the telephone number in order to make a call.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved the addition of the 840 area code to the geographic area served by the 909 area code. This process is known as an area code overlay. The overlay will require all calls to be completed using new dialing procedures.

The 909 area code was created when it split off the 714 area code in 1992. It was split again in 2004 to form the 951 area code. Prior to approving the area code overlay, the CPUC held public meetings in Pomona, San Bernardino, and Redlands in the spring of 2017.

An overlay means that more than one area code will now serve the same geographic area. 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 909 customers will retain their area code and specific telephone number(s).

The 909 area code, serving portions of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, is projected to run out of available prefixes (the first three numbers after the area code in a phone number) by the third quarter of 2021.

Beginning Feb. 23, new telephone lines or services in the 909 area may be given numbers from the new 840 area code.

To complete calls from a landline phone or a wireless phone, the new dialing procedure requires anyone with a 909 or 840 area code to dial 1 plus area code plus telephone number. This means that all calls in the 909 or 840 area codes that are currently dialed with seven digits will need to be dialed using 1 plus area code plus telephone number whenever placing a call from a phone number with the 909 or 840 area code.

Other tips published in the Fontana Herald News to help you with the new area code overlay include: Start dialing 1 plus the area code plus telephone number for all calls. Advise families, friends, etc., to dial 1 + the area code + telephone number for all calls. 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.

You can still dial just three digits to reach 911 (emergency),  as well as 211 (information), 311 (non-emergency city services for some cities), 411 (directory assistance with automatic call completion) and other three-digit assistance numbers.

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