10-Digit Dialing Will Become Mandatory for Michigan Phone Users in 4 Area Codes

Callers in Michigan’s 616, 810, 906 and 989 area codes should start dialing with area code plus telephone number on April 24, when a “permissive dialing period” begins.

The national Suicide Prevention Lifeline is set to go live by July 16, 2022. In July of last year, the Federal Communications Commission designated 988 as the abbreviated dialing code to reach the hotline 24/7. The update will affect telephone users in four area codes in Michigan.

Callers in the 616, 810, 906 and 989 area codes will be required to start dialing with 10 digits. For example, if you’re making a call and the number is 988-1234, you will be required to use the area code first, 810-988-1234 or 616-988-1234.  

“Beginning October 24th of this year, that’s when it’s going to be mandatory that you have to dial those 10-digit numbers.” –Ryan McAnany, Michigan Public Service Commission

Ryan McAnany is the acting director of the Telecommunications Division of the Michigan Public Service Commission. He says callers may not call who they thought they were calling if they don’t use the area code starting April 24. “Let’s say you’re trying to call your neighbor and your neighbor has the 988 prefix. When you call that 988, you’ll actually be reaching the national suicide hotline instead of your neighbor.” In the four area codes in Michigan, there are still a few active numbers using the 988 prefix.

On April 24, a permissive calling period will begin. This is a way to get phone users ready for the change. McAnany says it’s important phone consumers are aware they need to update important services like fax machines, speed dialers and life-safety systems. “While it’s not mandatory, it would be strongly encouraged that you begin practicing this, you begin making all your proper changes, whether it’s with your alarm companies, anything of that nature.”

By October, all callers with the affected area codes will have to use 10-digit dialing. 

“Beginning October 24th of this year, that’s when it’s going to be mandatory that you have to dial those 10-digit numbers,” McAnany says.

And on that day, local calls dialed out using only the 7-digit number will be directed to an automated voice recording. The recording will prompt you to hang up and dial using the area code.

Phone numbers will not change, including area codes, with the addition of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The price of calls will not be affected nor will services. 

McAnany says the positive thing is there’s time to let people know what’s going on. “The permissive dialing period where customers can become acclimated to it, so that it’s not just, here’s the start date, and everyone’s caught off guard. When this 988, suicide hotline beacons are up and running in July of next year, everything is able to run smoothly.”

The current number for the national suicide hotline is 800-273-8255

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Author

  • Tia Graham

    Tia Graham is a reporter and Weekend Edition Host for 101.9 WDET. She graduated from Michigan State University where she had the unique privilege of covering former President Barack Obama and his trip to Lansing in 2014.