New 826 area code to merge with 540 area code; 10 digit dialing soon to be required for all calls

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RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) – Virginians living in the 540 area code will soon be required to dial 10 digits, including the area code, to make local calls.

Ahead of that change, permissive 10-digit dial will begin on Nov. 13 for residents in the 540 area code.

This is the first step in a June 2020 relief plan that was approved by the State Corporation Commission (SCC) to phase in the new 826 area code.

Starting next month, local calls can be made using either the normal seven digits or the new 10 digits for all calls.

The SCC says even though you can start using 10 digits to dial for local numbers, those numbers will still be considered local.

The 540 area code encompasses the northwestern and southwestern portions of Virginia including Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Culpeper, Fredericksburg, Front Royal, Harrisonburg, Radford, Roanoke, Salem, Staunton, Waynesboro and Winchester.

In the coming months, the inventory of available phone numbers with “540” as the area code is expected to run out.

The SCC approved an overlay, which is the addition of the 826 area code to the same geographic region served by the current 540 area code.

Starting on June 14, 2022, new telephone lines or services may be assigned numbers using the new 826 are code.

The SCC says that if you already have a 540 area code, it will not change. The new area code will be assigned to new phone numbers.

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