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Healthcare

Area code becomes mandatory for local calls on Oct. 24

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Starting Oct. 24, all South Dakotans must dial the area code plus the phone number for all local calls. Calls dialed with only seven digits may not be completed.

The new requirement is a result of actions by the Federal Communications Commission. It is establishing 988 as the three digit dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline. Anybody who dials the 988 prefix without an area code will connect to the lifeline, so South Dakota is requiring an area code to prevent that.

The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission recommends updating contact lists to include 10-digit phone numbers, checking the settings of smart home devices, medical monitoring devices, home security systems, call forwarding and voicemail services before Oct. 24. 

Dialing 988 will route the call to the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline starting July 16, 2022. Until then, anyone wishing to reach the Lifeline should call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

For additional information on 10-digit dialing, contact a local telephone service provider or visit the PUC website at https://puc.sd.gov/Publications/10DigitDialingFAQ.aspx.