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New Area Code Selected For New Phone Numbers Issued In Sacramento

Themba Hadebe / AP

Themba Hadebe / AP

For the first time in nearly 70 years, new telephone numbers issued in the Sacramento region will get something other than a 916 area code.

Starting in September, an increasing number of new phone lines issued within the region will receive a 279 area code.

The California Public Utilities Commission made the decision earlier this month because its running out of numbers.

Spokeswoman Constance Gordon says this overlay will affect everyone, because one geographic area will have two area codes simultaneously.

"So, let's say you want to call your neighbor, right across the street, and you both have 916, you still need to dial the ten digits because the phone needs to know whether you're calling a 916 or 279 number," says Gordon.

916 was one of the original three area codes issued in California, back in 1947, but at that time, Sacramento was not covered by it.

415 was the area code for the Bay Area and the entire middle third of the state, including the state capital.

Sacramento became home to 916 during a realignment in 1950.

If you still have questions regarding the switch, the CPUC will be holding a public meeting in Davis on Thursday to further explain it. 

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