In late May the California Public Utility Commission (PUC) approved an “area code overlay,” meaning phone companies will start issuing numbers with a new area code on the Central Coast - and beyond - starting in the summer of 2018.
Parts of the Central Coast will start using the new code ‘820’ in addition to the ‘805’ code. According to the PUC, the 805 area code was “forecasted to use up all its available prefixes by the 4th quarter of 2017."
The commission is advising locals to begin dialing one plus the area code followed by the phone number, in order to prepare for coming change. Once it kicks in, dialing just the seven-digit phone number will no longer work in trying to contact another local phone line.
The PUC said the 820-addition plan started in November of last year, when the North American Numbering Plan Administration applied to introduce the new area code. Prior to the application filing, the PUC held public hearings in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara.
Commission spokesperson Jonathan Lakritz told KCBX last August it is allowing for a year-long transition.
“So there'd be education during the summer [of 2017], and that'll ramp up in the fall,” Lakritz said. “The new area code will be put in place [in summer of 2018] and after that people will be required to dial telephone numbers a certain way.”
The 805 area code was created in 1957, after splitting from the 213 area code near Los Angeles. In 1999, the area code 661 was carved from the 805 region.