If you live in the 810, 989, 616, or 906 Michigan area codes, you have to start dialing all 10 digits when making a call.

I can't say for certain how many people have been doing this all along, because most of us just hit a contact in our smart phones to make a call. This could cause some headaches with that process though, if you don't have that contact's area code in front of their number.

The change happened this weekend when the Michigan Public Service Commission announced that anyone with the area codes listed above, would have to start dialing all 10 digits. Before you ask, yes this impacts both land lines and cell phone calls.

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Why is the way we dial certain area codes changing?

The transition to 10 digit dialing for the specific area codes has to do with the new National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. This is an initiative to have one uniform number for suicide prevention on par with other critical emergency resource numbers like 911 or 211. The suicide prevention three digit number will be 988, and that causes a problem for area codes that already use that prefix.

In order for 988 to dial directly to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, any area code that includes the 988 prefix must transition from 7-digit dialing (dialing without the area code) to 10-digit dialing (area code with the telephone number).

How will this impact my phone number?

Really there is no direct impact on anyone's number. The biggest difference is that if you live in one of the area codes listed above, people will have to use 10 digits to call you. Your number will stay the same throughout all of the changes.

When will the 988 Suicide Prevention Lifeline be active?

The number is going to be rolled out at different times to different areas, but by July 16th 2022, everyone will be able to dial 988 in case of a suicide emergency. Until then, you can visit the Suicide Prevention chatline here, or call 800-273-8255 for help.

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