New area code coming to 816 region

Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 2:22 PM CST
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - After a 21-year delay, an overlay plan and the introduction of a new area code is coming to Missouri, according to a release Monday from the Missouri Public Service Commission.

The 816 area code primarily serves the communities of Kansas City, St. Joseph, Savannah, Richmond, Maysville, Odessa, Adrian, Holden, Lawson and Drexel. The MPSC said Monday that it has continued to work with the North American Numbering Plan Administrator and will soon implement the introduction of a new 975 area code in what has been the 816 area code region of Missouri.

Originally, the MPSC adopted an overlay plan for the 816 and 314 are codes in an order issued Oct. 24, 2000. Just less than a year later on Sept. 25, 2001, the project was delayed indefinitely in order to “allow time to test the effectiveness of telephone number conservation efforts.”

“Telephone number conservation efforts were successful and we were able to delay the area code overlay implementation plan for the 816 area code for more than 21 years,” said Public Service Commission Chairman Scott Rupp. “The exhaustion of available telephone numbers led to an overlay plan and the introduction of the new 557 area code in the 314 area code region in August of last year.”

Now, the NANPA has indicated to the Public Service Commission that phone numbers in the 816 area code are again nearing exhaustion. According to projections from NANPA, the 816 area code will run out of available numbers in the second quarter of 2024.

The earliest date for companies to request 975 telephone numbers is Aug. 8, 2023, and the earliest date they would be activated is Oct. 13, 2023. Both dates could be pushed back depending on how quickly phone numbers in the 816 area code actually exhaust.

Once implemented, the 975 area code will co-exist everywhere in the region with the 816 area code. All local calls within the region will need to be dialed with ten digits rather than seven digits. Along with that, customers should know these key facts:

  • Current telephone numbers, including current area code, will not change.
  • The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates will not change due to the overlay.
  • What is a local now will remain a local call.
  • Customers in the overlay region must dial 10 digits for local calls.
  • Three-digit abbreviated dialing, to the extent currently available, such as 911, as well as 211, 311, 988, 511, 611, 711, or 811 will continue to work and not be affected.