May 14, 2018
Attention: Telephone Directory Publishers
To ensure a continuing supply of telephone numbers, the new 640 area code is being added to the same geographic area currently served by the existing 609 area code in New Jersey. This process is known as an area code overlay, and requires a new dialing procedure.
In connection with this overlay, all seven-digit dialed calls between area codes 609 and 856 will be eliminated and will require a new dialing procedure.
What is an area code overlay?
An area code overlay is the addition of another area code (640) to the same geographic region as an existing area code (609). An overlay does not require customers to change their existing area code, but does require them to dial the area code and the seven-digit telephone number on calls within the same area code.
Also in connection with this overlay, all seven-digit dialed calls between area codes 609 and 856 will be eliminated and callers will be required to dial 1 + area code + seven-digit telephone number instead.
Who will be affected?
Anyone with a 609 area code is affected. The 609 area code serves portions of central and southeastern New Jersey, and the new 640 area code will serve that same geographic area.
In addition, anyone with an 856 area code using just seven digits to dial calls from the 856 area code to the 609 area code is affected.
How does this affect telephone directory publishers?
Telephone Directories covering the 609 area code region must add the new 640 area code information and alert customers in the 609 area code about the new 10-digit local dialing procedure. In addition, please ensure the correct dialing instructions (1 + area code + telephone number) is noted for calls made between the 856 and the 609 area codes.
What will be the new dialing procedure?
To complete calls from a 609 area code to another 609 area code telephone number, the new dialing procedure requires callers to dial the area code + telephone number. This means that all calls within the 609 area code that are currently dialed with seven digits will need to be dialed using ten digits, that is, the area code + telephone number. The same dialing procedure will apply to telephone numbers assigned to the new 640 area code.
In addition, calls made from the 609 area code to the 856 area code that are currently dialed with seven digits will need to be dialed using 1 + area code + telephone number. The same dialing changes will apply to calls made from the 856 area code to the 609 area code. Local calls made within the 856 area code can continue to be dialed with just seven digits.
The following is a summary of the new dialing procedure:
Call From Call To New Dialing Procedure
609 or 640 609 or 640 Area code + 7-digit telephone number
609 or 640 856 or any area code other than 609 or 640 1 + area code + 7-digit telephone number
856, 609 or 640 or any area code other than 856 1 + area code + 7-digit telephone number
856, 856 7-digit telephone number
When will the change begin?
Beginning August 18, 2018, you must use the new dialing procedure, as described above, for calls made from the 609 and 856 area codes. On and after this date, if you do not use the new dialing procedure, your calls will not be completed and a recording will instruct you to hang up and dial again using the area code.
Beginning September 17, 2018, new telephone lines or services in the 609 area may be given numbers from the new 640 area code.
What will remain the same?
The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the overlay, and what is a local call now will remain a local call regardless of the number of digits dialed. Customers can still dial just three digits to reach 911, as well as 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 and 811.
Who may you contact with questions?
If you have any questions regarding information provided in this notice, please contact your local service provider for assistance. You can also visit the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities’ website at http://www.nj.gov/bpu/ for additional information.
NJ 609/640 Overlay Industry Committee Co-Chairs