Philadelphia Is Getting a New Area Code

The area codes of 215 and 267, which cover Philadelphia and parts of Bucks and Montgomery counties, will soon be joined by a third.

Philadelphia is getting a new area code. But don’t fret: It won’t be as much of a hassle as it was in the ’90s.

A little backstory: The 215 area code was one of the original ones established in 1947, covering Southeastern Pennsylvania all the way up to the Lehigh Valley. But in 1994, with numbers running out, the 215 area code was split in two: 215 stayed with Philadelphia and most of its northern suburbs in Bucks and Montgomery counties. The western suburbs and the Lehigh Valley became 610 numbers.

But then the 215 area code was split even more: In 1997, the 267 area code was added as an overlay to 215. Ten-digit dialing was introduced. That was a hassle to learn back in the late 1990s, which sounds like an ancient complaint in an age when a lot of people don’t even know telephone numbers because they’re all just stored in their phones.

Yesterday, the Pennsylvania Utilities Commission said Pennsylvania would be getting a third area code, an overlay in the same area. The current supply of 215 and 267 numbers will be exhausted by the spring of 2018, according to Neustar (the company that runs the North American Numbering Plan).

The PUC did not announce what the new area code would be. A third area code, 445, was proposed as an overlay in the early 2000s but the Utilities Commission rescinded that and returned that area code back to “reserved” status.