California 805 / 820 Area Code Overlay FAQs

General Information

  1. What is the California 805 / 820 area code overlay?

    An overlay is the addition of another area code to the same geographic area as an existing area code. In California, the 820 area code is being added to the area served by the 805 area code to ensure a continuing supply of phone numbers.

    You won't have to change your existing area code or phone number. However, because more than one area code will now serve the same geographic area, it does require you to dial or enter the area code and the 7-digit number for all calls, including calls within the same area code.

  2. Who's affected by the California 805 / 820 area code overlay?

    Anyone who has a phone number with an 805 area code is affected, as well as anyone who receives a phone number from the 820 area code in the future. The 805 area code serves most of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties, as well as small portions of Monterey and Kern Counties. Some of the cities served by the 805 area code include Carpinteria, Lompoc, Moorpark, Ojai, Oxnard, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Thousand Oaks and Ventura.

    The 820 area code will cover the same geographic area as the 805 area code. The map below shows the 805 / 820 overlay area.

  3. What's the new calling procedure for customers with an 805 or 820 area code?

    The new 820 area code is being added to the geographic area served by the 805 area code. Because more than one area code will serve the same geographic area, if you have an 805 or 820 phone number, you'll need to enter the area code for all calls -- including calls within the same area code. To complete calls from a wireless phone with an 805 or 820 area code, the new calling procedure requires you to enter the area code and 7-digit phone number (you may also enter 1+ the area code and 7-digit phone number). To complete calls from a landline phone with an 805 or 820 area code, the new calling procedure requires you to enter 1+ the area code and 7-digit phone number.

  4. When will the California 805 / 820 area code overlay calling change begin?

    Beginning December 1, 2017, if you have an 805 area code, you should start entering the area code for all calls. There will be a grace period, so if you forget and enter just 7 digits during the grace period, your call will still be completed.

    Beginning June 2, 2018, if you have an 805 area code, the new calling procedure will be required for all calls. On or after this date, if you don't use the new calling procedure, your call won't be completed and a recording will instruct you to hang up and dial again, including the area code.

    Beginning June 30, 2018, new telephone lines or services may be assigned numbers with the 820 area code. If you have an 820 area code, you must enter the area code and 7-digit phone number on all calls or the call won't be completed.

  5. Will the California 805 / 820 area code overlay affect my service?

    No, the only change is entering the area code for all calls. Your current area code and phone number won't change. The price of a call, your plan and coverage area, and other rates and services won't change because of the overlay. All local calls will remain local, regardless of the number of digits entered.

  6. What will I need to do to prepare for the California 805 / 820 area code overlay?

    In addition to entering the area code and phone number for all calls, you should also complete the following items:

    • Update any pre-programmed 7-digit phone numbers in your mobile device to include the area code, as well as any text or email alert services, and any call forwarding services.

    • Re-program all services and devices that are currently programmed to use a 7-digit phone number to include the area code, including automatic dialing equipment. Some examples include:
      • Life safety systems and medical monitoring devices
      • Fire or burglar alarm and security systems
      • Security gates
      • Speed dialers
      • Call forwarding settings
      • PBXs and fax machines
      • Internet dial-up numbers
      • Voicemail services and similar functions
    • Check your websites, personal and business stationery, advertising materials, personal and business checks, contact information, personal or pet ID tags, and other such items to ensure the area code is included.
  7. What will remain the same after the California 805 / 820 area code overlay is implemented?

    The following items will remain the same and won't change:
    • Your phone number, including current area code
    • The price of a call, coverage area or other rates and services
    • Calls that are considered local now will remain local calls, regardless of the number of digits entered
    • 911 calls aren't affected, only 3 digits are required
    • If 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 or 811 are currently available in your community, you'll still be able to call them by entering just 3 digits
  8. Where can I find more information about the California 805 / 820 area code overlay?

    If you have any questions about the 805 / 820 area code overlay, click the Chat with us button at the bottom right corner of this page to contact one of our representatives. Visit the California Public Utilities Commission site to learn more.

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