New Washington area code coming later this month

UPDATE: Beginning July 29, 2017, all local calls made within western Washington's four Number Plan Areas (206, 253, 360 and 425) will have to be placed using the 10-digit telephone number (area code + the 7-digit telephone number).

Calls that are currently local will continue to be local, even though 10-digit dialing will be required.



ORIGINAL TEXT: Are you in the region getting the new 564 area code? Either way, be prepared to change the way you dial in Western Washington.

If you currently live in Western Washington, you are likely in an area that will also start using the new 564 area code, starting in 2017. T-Mobile sent text messages to its customers Wednesday informing them of the change.

But no current phone numbers are changing. The new phone numbers in the 360, 206, 253, and 425 areas will be issued a 564 area code as the old numbers are exhausted.

Phone customers in the 360 region will be the first to get the new 564 code. This is because the North American Numbering Plan Administrator has estimated that the 360 region will run out of phone numbers by 2018.

GeekWire reports that the 360 region will start receiving the new 564 area code in August. The new code will slowly be introduced to the other Western Washington phone regions after that.

This change is called an “overlay.” An area code is overlaid in regions with other area codes. So even if your neighbor uses a 425 code, for example, if you get a new phone number in 2017, you could have a 564 area code. All calls between the codes will still be considered local.

564 area code and other changes

The area code switch-up is not the only change to Western Washington dialing procedures. All callers — regardless of provider — will have to start dialing full 10-digit phone numbers in 2017. Callers are being asked to start the practice on Jan. 28, though seven-digit numbers will still work for the time being, but not for long.

Seven-digit calls will cease to work in July. Callers will be required to dial the full 10 digits of a phone number to make a call starting on July 29. That means dialing the area code first, even if you are calling your neighbor.

Of course, with so many people using smartphones, the dialing practice won’t be a real issue.

If you're a new phone customer and are unhappy about receiving the new 564 area code, you may be a little late. The new code was approved in 2000. Its implementation was postponed for a few years after phone number conservation efforts were put in place.

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