The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is reminding consumers that beginning on Jan. 23, residents and businesses with the 909 area code (including Highland) must dial 1 + area code + telephone number for all calls.

On and after that date, if callers do not use the new dialing procedure, the call will not be completed, and a recording will instruct the caller to hang up and dial again using the area code.

The dialing change paves the way for an area code overlay that will add the new 840 area code to the geographic area currently served by the 909 area code. The overlay does not require customers to change their existing area code and telephone number but does require customers with the 909 or 840 area codes to dial “1” plus the three-digit area code plus the seven-digit telephone number for all calls to and from telephone numbers with the 909 and 840 area codes, including local calls.

To prepare for the area code overlay, the CPUC offers the following information and tips to residents and businesses:

• Deadline: Beginning Jan. 23, direct dialed calls from 909 phone numbers will not go through unless dialed as 1 + area code + telephone number (wireless customers may dial just the area code + telephone number).

• Phone numbers and pricing unchanged: The new dialing procedure will not change existing 909 phone numbers or the cost of the call. Calls that are in a consumer’s local calling area remain local calls.

• Reprogram automatic dialers: Automatic dialing equipment must be reprogrammed to use the new dialing procedure including: life safety systems and medical monitoring devices, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems or gates, speed dialers, call forwarding settings, voicemail services, and other similar services or equipment.

• Dialing 9-1-1 unaffected: Consumers can still dial three digits to reach 9-1-1. Other three-digit codes, such as 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 and 811, can also be dialed with just three digits.

Beginning Feb. 23, consumers requesting new or additional telephone numbers may be assigned telephone numbers with either the new 840 area code or the original 909 area code, depending on available telephone number inventory. Consumers receiving 840 telephone numbers must dial 1 + area code + telephone number for all calls as well.

The 909 area code was created from the split of the 714 area code in November 1992. The 909 area code itself was split to form the 951 area code in 2004. The 909 area code serves the southwestern portion of San Bernardino County, the eastern portion of Los Angeles County and small portions of Orange and Riverside Counties.

The 840 area code will serve the same geographic area.

On June 13, 2019, the CPUC ordered the overlay to ensure that consumers and businesses in the 909 area code continue to have access to telephone numbers from the wireline, wireless, and Voice over Internet Protocol providers of their choice. For more information, consumers and businesses should contact their telephone service provider or visit

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