Mandatory 10-Digit Dialing to Begin on May 14, 2022 for Customers with the Virginia 540 Area Code

Mandatory 10-digit dialing (3-digit area code + the 7-digit telephone number) begins May 14, 2022 for Virginians living in the 540 area code region. Local calls made with just seven digits will not be connected. This is the second step in a June 2020 relief plan approved by the State Corporation Commission (SCC) to phase in the new 826 area code. Permissive 10-digit dialing for the 540 area code region began November 13, 2021.

The 540 area code encompasses the northwestern and southwestern portions of Virginia; some of the larger cities include Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Culpeper, Fredericksburg, Front Royal, Harrisonburg, Radford, Roanoke, Salem, Staunton, Waynesboro and Winchester.

In the coming months, the inventory of available phone numbers with “540” as the area code is expected to run out. The SCC approved an overlay, which is the addition of another area code (826) to the same geographic region served by an existing area code (540). Beginning June 14, 2022, new telephone lines or services may be assigned numbers using the new 826 area code.

The good news: residents and businesses that already have phone numbers will get to keep them. No one’s 540 phone number will change.

The key facts for consumers to know about the upcoming VA 540/826 area code overlay are:

  • Your current telephone number, including current area code, will not change.
  • If you seek new phone service on and after June 14, 2022, you may be assigned a phone number with the 826 area code.
  • You will need to dial the area code + telephone number for all local calls, including calls within the same area code.
  • You will continue to dial 1 + area code + telephone number for all long-distance calls.
  • What is a local call now will remain a local call.
  • You can still dial just three digits to reach 911. You can also dial three digits to reach 211 and 811, as well as 311 and 511, where available.

Please remember to identify your telephone number as a 10-digit number and include the area code when giving the number to friends, family, business associates, and customers, etc.

Alarm, security, and elevator services and equipment currently located in the 540 area code and programmed to dial only seven digits must be updated or reprogrammed to dial the area code + telephone number for all calls in the 540 area code.