New area code coming to St. Louis, 314 numbers running out

Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 6:58 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - The 314 area code is the identifying number for many St. Louisans, but that could be changing.

Phone numbers with the 314 area code are running out, making 557 the new area code for people who come to St. Louis.

Boost Mobile manager Jason Markham says the 557 area code has not been given out to anyone yet on Friday. Many people across the region want to stay loyal to the 314 area code.

“314 was St. Louis,” Markham says, “Everybody recognizes that as St. Louis. It goes back to artists like Nelly, who talks about it in his songs. I think having that area code, it’s more than just an area code. It’s a sign that you live in St. Louis.”

Markham says people don’t often want to change their cell phone numbers because of the area code.

However, starting August 12, the new 557 area code may start popping up.

“It’ll be interesting,” Markham says. “I think we’re going to see a lot of customers that kind of push back on that and we’re gonna just have to explain the situation.”

The reason for the new area code is that phone numbers starting with 314 are running out. With no 314 numbers expected to be left, that means a new area code has to take over.

All existing 314 area code customers will retain their current area code and their telephone numbers will not change. The North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) projected that telephone numbering in the 314 area code will exhaust in the third quarter of 2022.

The 314 area code serves communities such as, but not limited to, St. Louis, Overland, Bridgeton, Florissant, Webster Groves, Creve Coeur, Kirkwood and Sappington.

All local calls within this region must be dialed using ten digits rather than seven digits.

St. Louisan Erin Pohl says being able to keep her phone number is essential.

“I was born and raised in St. Louis and 314 day is something we celebrate as a St. Louis pride thing,” Pohl says. “I don’t think I would feel as much of a St. Louisan if I had to change my number.”

Pohl works with victims of intimate partner violence and says in some sense, this area code change can impact their identity.

“I think it could go both ways,” Pohl says. “Maybe they would feel more protected if they could change it to a different area code. Or they would feel like they just have to give up another piece of their identity, like they’ve had to do for years to keep themselves safe from someone who has been abusive.”

The hope for many in St. Louis is that 314 numbers become available again in the future.

“I even think we’re still gonna see in the future 314 showing up periodically as those numbers become available on the system,” Markham says.

Telephone customers should know the following key facts about the 557 area code overlay:

● Telephone numbers, 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.

● 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, 411, 511, 611, 711, 988, or 811 will continue to work and not be affected.

Customers should identify their telephone number as a 10-digit number (3-digit area code + 7-digit telephone number) and include the area code when giving the number to others.

Customers should ensure that all services, automatic dialing equipment, or other types of equipment recognize the new 557 area code as a valid area code and should continue to store or program telephone numbers as 10-digit numbers. Some examples include: stored telephone numbers in contact lists in wireless or cordless phones, PBXs, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, speed dialers, call forwarding settings, voicemail services, medical alert devices, and safety alarm security systems and gates. Customers should also ensure their websites, personal and business stationery and printed checks, advertising materials, contact information, and personal or pet ID tags include the area code.

For more information, please contact your local telephone service provider or visit the Missouri Public Service Commission website at: https://psc.mo.gov/Telecommunications/Telephone_NumbersLocal_Dialing