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By Miriam Raftery

May 21, 2018 (San Diego) – If you live in area code 619 or 858, you now have to dial the area code even for local calls.  If you’re calling from a land line, you’ll also need to dial 1, then the area code, followed by the seven-digit phone number.

If you have a home or business alarm system, be sure to check with the company to make sure it has updated its system to properly route calls to the alarm company, police or fire. You should also update any phones programmed to auto dial numbers.

The new system was approved by the California Utilities Commission last year and went into effect on Saturday.

The change is because the 619 area code is forecast to run out of new prefixes near year, while the 858 area code has an estimated 30 years of prefixes left. So, state regulators approved an overlay of the two area codes covering most of San Diego County.

The overlay is similar to one previously approved for area codes 760 in northeast San Diego County and the 442 area code in Imperial County.