Are You Ready For Idaho’s New Area Code?

Are You Ready


Get ready to change the way you dial your local calls!

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission will implement a new area code overlay in 2017.

What is an area code overlay?
An overlay is the addition of another area code (986) to the same geographic region as an existing area code (208). An overlay does not require customers to change their existing area code.

Who will be affected?
(208) Area code customers will keep their number. The new (986) area code will serve future landline customers throughout out the entire state.

What will be the new dialing procedure?
To complete local calls, the new dialing procedure requires callers to dial the 10-digit telephone number (area code + the 7-digit telephone number). This means that all calls in the 208 area code that are currently dialed with seven digits will need to be dialed using 10-digit telephone number. The same dialing procedure will apply to telephone numbers assigned to the new 986 area code. Calls that are currently local will continue to be local, even though 10-digit dialing will be required.

When will the change begin?
November 5, 2016: Begin using the new 10-digit dialing procedures whenever you place a call. If you forget and dial just seven digits, your call will still be completed.

August 5, 2017: 10-digit dialing will be required for all calls. After this date, if you do not use 10-digit dialing, your calls will not be completed and a recording will instruct you to hang up and dial again.

September 5, 2017: New telephone lines or services may be assigned numbers using the new 986 area code.


In addition to required 10-digit dialing, all automatic dialing equipment or other types of equipment that are programmed with a 7-digit number, will need to be reprogrammed to use the new dialing procedures.

Examples: Life safety systems, PBXs, fax machines, alarm and security systems, gates, speed dialers, call forwarding settings, etc. You may also want to check your website, business stationery, printed checks, contact information, pet ID tags, or advertising materials to ensure the area code is included. Important safety and security equipment, such as medical alert devices, and alarm and security systems must be programed to use 10-digit dialing.  Many systems operate on 10-digit dialing by default but some older equipment may still use 7-digits.  Please contact your medical alert or security provider if you don’t know whether your equipment needs to be reprogrammed to accommodate the upcoming change to 10-digit dialing.


Your telephone number, including current area code, will not change. The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the overlay. What is a local call now will remain a local call regardless of the number of digits dialed. You will still have to dial 1+area code + telephone number (11-digit dialing) to place long-distance calls within the 208/986 Area Code. You can still dial just three digits to reach 411, 811 and 911.

If you have questions, contact us.