Callers Within the Illinois 217 Area Code Must Dial Area Code + Telephone Number for All Local Calls Starting February 27, 2021
For a long time Central Illinois has been identified by three numbers: 217. As in, the 217 area code.
But 217’s solo gig will soon be over.
A new overlay area code — 447 — will start to appear for Central Illinois residential, mobile, and business phone customers possibly as soon as March. The 217 area code generally covers the central region of the state serving 35 counties, including metros such as Springfield, Champaign-Urbana, Danville, Decatur, Jacksonville, and Quincy.
Starting February 27, it will be mandatory to dial 10 digits to complete a call.
10-digit dialing is a term used to refer to the practice of including the area code of a phone number when making local calls. It is the required dialing pattern in locations throughout the country that have undergone an area code overlay.
Consumers in areas subject to an overlay should replace all 7-digit telephone numbers programmed into their wireless phones and other devices with 10-digit telephone numbers.
On and after this date, if you do not use the new dialing procedures, your calls will not go through. A recording will instruct you to hang up and dial again including the area code.
Beginning March 27, 2021, the first numbers can be assigned using the 447 area code.
The most important facts for people to know about the upcoming 217/447 area code overlay are:
- Your current telephone number, including current area code, will not change.
- If you seek new phone service after March 27, you may be assigned a phone number with the 447 area code.
- You will need to dial area code + telephone number for all 217 and 447 numbers
- For landlines, you will continue to dial 1 + area code + telephone number for long distance calls. (Cell phones do not require the 1, just the 10 digits.)
- What is a local call now will remain a local call.
- The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the overlay.
THREE DIGIT NUMBERS, SUCH AS 911 and 211, WILL NOT CHANGE
- You can still dial just three digits to reach 911. You can also dial three digits to reach 211. (211 is an easy-to-remember, non-emergency telephone number provided by United Way of Champaign County that connects people with the help they need. 211 saves time and frustration through highly-trained specialists who match people to the right agency based on their individual needs.)
MAKE SURE TO INCLUDE 10 DIGITS WHEN GIVING OUT YOUR NUMBER:
- Please remember to identify your telephone number as a 10-digit number (Area Code + 7-digit telephone number), and include the area code when giving the number to friends, family, business associates and customers, etc.
- Be sure to check your business stationery, advertising materials, personal checks, and your personal or pet ID tags to ensure the area code is included in your telephone number.
- In addition to changing your dialing procedures, all services, automatic dialing equipment, or other types of equipment that are programmed to dial a 7-digit number will need to be reprogrammed to use the new dialing procedures. Some examples are life safety systems, PBXs, fax machines, alarm and security systems or gates, speed dialers, call forwarding settings, voicemail services, etc.
The 217 area code is one of the original 86 area codes in the United States, assigned by Bell Laboratories in 1947. In 1957, the northern portion of what was then 217, including the Bloomington and Peoria areas, broke off into the 309 area code.
10-digit dialing has been the norm in the Chicago area since 2002.
If you have any questions regarding 10-digit dialing, contact your phone service provider or access www.icc.illinois.gov for more information.