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


The District of Columbia has used the 202 area code since 1947 and it has become synonymous with city pride, but projections show the District will run out of new phone numbers during the third quarter of 2022. To solve this problem, the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) has assigned a new area code to the Washington region: 771
The NANPA plan will overlay the new 771 area code over the entire geographic area of the 202 area code. All existing customers with a 202 area code would retain that area code and would not have to change telephone numbers. However, once the new area code is active, customers making wireline or wireless phone calls within the District will be required to dial 10 digits (the 202 or 771 area code plus the local telephone number) instead of just the current seven-digit local telephone number to complete local calls.

What you need to know about the 771 area code
District residents should keep the following in mind with regard to the 771 area code overlay implementation:
  • Your current telephone number, including current area code, will not change.
  • If you plan to get a new phone number on and after November 9, 2021, you may be assigned a phone number with the 771 area code.
  • You will need to start dialing the area code + telephone number for all local calls, including calls within the same area code.
  • You will continue to dial 1 + area code + telephone number for all long distance calls.
  • What is a local call now will remain a local call.
  • The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the overlay.
How to prepare for the new area code
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 7 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 7 digits. Any needed reprogramming of alarm and home security equipment must be done between April 10, 2021, and October 9, 2021.
Important dates
April 10, 2021: A six-month permissive dialing period will begin to give consumers adequate time to adjust to the dialing changes. During this period, individuals can make local calls with either 7 or 10 digits.
October 9, 2021: Individuals must place all local calls made within the 202 area code using 10 digits (area code + the 7-digit telephone number). On and after this date, calls placed using just 7 digits will not be completed.
November 9, 2021: New telephone lines or services may be assigned numbers using the new 771 area code.