Get Ready for 10- (or 11- or 7-) Digit Dialing in South Jersey

Calling an 856 number from an 856 number? Seven digits is all you need. But dialing a 609 number from 609? Well …

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Starting Saturday, phone users from Mercer County all the way down to Cape May in New Jersey accustomed to dialing just seven digits when they make a call will have to change their ways to accommodate the new 640 area code kicking in September.

The North American Numbering Plan Administration announced the move last year, saying the available numbers in the current 609 block would be exhausted by around the third quarter of this year.

This week, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) confirmed that estimate.

“The change was prompted by the increasing number of new telephone lines or services in the 609 area,” the board said in a press release. “As a result, any new lines or services may be given phone numbers from the new 640 area code. This action is being taken to ensure a continuing supply of new phone numbers.”

New 640 numbers will be issued starting September 17th.

The NJBPU, in their press release, gave these dialing guidelines to residents affected by the change:

– Call From 609 or 640 to 609 or 640: Area Code + seven-digit telephone number;
– Call From 609 or 640 to 856 or any area code other than 609 or 640: 1 + area code + seven-digit telephone
– Call from 856 to 609 or 640 or any area code other than 856: 1 + area code + seven-digit telephone number;
– Call from 856 to 856: seven-digit telephone number.

“It is important that all consumers take a moment to understand and implement the new dialing procedures,” said the board’s president, Joseph L. Fiordaliso. “Once they get used to the changes the new dialing procedures should become second nature.”