The District of Columbia has a new overlay area code: 771


The District of Columbia used the 202 area code since 1947 and it became synonymous with city pride, but projections showed that the District would run out of phone numbers during the third quarter of 2022 without an additional area code. To solve this problem, the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) assigned a new overlay area code to the Washington region: 771. Rollout of this area code began in November 2021.
The NANPA plan overlaid the new 771 area code over the entire geographic area of the 202 area code. All existing customers with a 202 area code retained that area code and did not have to change telephone numbers. However, once the new area code became active, customers making wireline or wireless phone calls within the District were required to dial 10 digits (the 202 or 771 area code plus the local telephone number) instead of just the seven-digit local telephone number to complete local calls.

Important considerations
With the District being one of the last major cities in the country to receive an overlay area code, seeing or dialing phone numbers without an area code is still common. However, customers should ensure that all services, automatic dialing equipment, applications, software, or other types of equipment are reprogrammed to dial 10 digits if they are currently programmed to dial just seven digits. Examples of these types of systems include life-safety systems, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, gates, ankle monitors, speed dialers, mobile phone contact lists, call forwarding settings, voicemail services, and similar functions.
Be sure to check your business stationery, advertising materials, personal checks, and your personal or pet ID tags to ensure the area code is included in your telephone number. Important safety and security equipment, such as medical alert devices, and alarm and security systems must be programmed to use 10-digit dialing.
Many systems operate on 10-digit dialing by default, but some older equipment may still use seven digits.