Residents of Stafford County may have noticed a change in the way they make telephone calls. As of May 14, 2022, local calls require 10-digit dialing. Available phone numbers with "540" as the area code have run out. This action is the first step in a June 2020 relief plan approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) to phase in a new 826 area code to add more available numbers. The SCC approved an overlay, which adds another area code (826) to the same geographic region served by an existing area code (540).
What number will I have?
If you already have a 540 number, you will keep the same number. Officials chose to go with the overlay option because it caused the least impact on existing phone numbers. They could have split the area code to free up more 540 numbers and forced half the area to adopt the new 826 number. This decision would have caused unnecessary expenses to businesses and other organizations that would have had to change their numbers.
However, new businesses and residents may be assigned numbers using the new 826 area code starting June 14, 2022.
Does this change impact how I dial numbers?
Yes. As cell phone users have long had to do, landline callers will be required to dial all ten digits of a phone number. This process started on May 14, 20022.
What areas are impacted?
The 540 area code encompasses the northwestern and southwestern portions of Virginia; some larger cities include Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Culpeper, Fredericksburg, Front Royal, Harrisonburg, Radford, Roanoke, Salem, Staunton, Waynesboro and Winchester.
Questions? Visit: https://scc.virginia.gov/newsreleases/release/10-Digit-Dialing-Mandatory-for-540-826 or call Ford Carson, at 804-371-9141.