PIERRE – Beginning Oct. 24, mandatory 10-digit dialing will start to take effect across South Dakota. On and after this date, you must dial the area code plus telephone number for all local calls.
Local calls dialed with only seven digits may not be completed. Instead, a recording may inform you that your call cannot be completed as dialed.
This new required dialing pattern is the result of the Federal Communications Commission’s effort to establish 988 as a three-digit dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline.
“It’s important to remember that the transition to 10-digit dialing is an essential step in a bigger effort to make vital services and support available to those who need it most. The new 988 dialing code will be available nationwide by July 16, 2022, and will provide a fast and easy to remember way to reach suicide prevention and mental health services, much like 911 is available for emergencies,” PUC Chairman Chris Nelson explained.
To prepare, the PUC recommends consumers take proactive steps prior to the upcoming deadline.
“Updating contacts lists to include 10-digit phone numbers, along with all the technology you use on a daily basis or have around your home or office, prior to Oct. 24 can save you a lot of headaches. Be sure to check the settings of things like smart home devices, medical monitoring devices, home security systems, calling networks within companies, and call forwarding or voicemail services, just to name a few,” said PUC Vice Chairperson Kristie Fiegen. “It’s also a good idea to speak with your neighbors, children, parents and grandparents about this change and the need to update their contact lists and technology settings. Those conversations, and possible assistance in making those updates, will help ensure this transition goes smoothly,” she added.
To help facilitate the creation of 988 as a new three-digit dialing code, all area codes that use 988 as a local exchange, or the first three digits of a seven-digit phone number, are required to move to 10-digit dialing. Nationwide, 82 area codes in 35 states and one U.S. territory will be impacted.
“Ten-digit dialing for local calls was made available in affected area codes in April of 2021 to help ease this transition and individuals and businesses alike should take advantage of this grace period. In addition to updating all of your technology settings and contact lists, you may also want to be sure to check your website, personal and business stationery, advertising materials, business cards, personal and business checks, pet ID tags and any other contact information items to ensure the area code is included,” commented PUC Commissioner Gary Hanson.
Starting July 16, 2022, dialing 988 will route your call to the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline. Until then, customers wishing to reach the Lifeline must continue to dial 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
For additional information on 10-digit dialing, contact your local telephone service provider or visit the PUC website at https://puc.sd.gov/publications/10DigitDialingFAQ.aspx.