Area code 218 is one of 82 area codes across 36 states transitioning from seven-digit to a 10-digit dialing requirement by Oct. 24.
The decision was made on July 10, 2020, following the designation of 988 as the three-digit code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which functions in the same manner as 911. The use of the 988 prefix had already been established within the 82 area codes affected. As an alternative to changing those phone numbers, inclusion of the area code in local dialing was the solution to the conundrum.
Currently, to dial locally, residents with a 218 area code can punch the last seven digits into their phone to connect their call, effective Oct. 24, in order to complete the same call, it will be required to dial 218 before dialing the last seven.
According to an announcement on the Park Region Telephone website, a permissive dialing phase in which both seven- and 10-digit dialing codes will be acceptable begins on April 24. This change will only affect local calls and will not impact long distance or international dialing.
A complete list of states and area codes requiring the transition to 10-digit dialing is available at the following website: dftcommunications.com/miscellaneous/10-digit-calling-faqs/.