10 digit dialing mandatory

In order to enable the new nationwide suicide prevention hotline, effective today, we need to start adding 603 to dialing numbers in NH. Here is some more information:

What is the new dialing procedure?
To complete all local calls, you need to dial either the area code + telephone number or 1 + area code + telephone number (see above).This applies to all calls within your area code that are currently dialed with seven digits.

Who is affected?
Anyone with a telephone number from the area codes listed above needs to make this change from 7-digit local dialing to 10-digit local dialing (or 1+10-digit local dialing as noted above).

Why is the dialing change needed?
The area codes listed above have a 988 working prefix. Mandatory 10-digit dialing for all local calls in these area codes must be implemented so that 988 can be used as the new 3-digit number to reach the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline.

When did the dialing change begin?
As of April 24, 2021, you have the ability to dial the area code + telephone number for all local calls and we encourage you to do so. If you forget and dial just 7 digits, your call will still be completed.

Beginning October 24, 2021, you must dial the area code + telephone number (or 1 + the area code + telephone number as applicable) for all local calls. On and after this date, local calls dialed with only 7 digits may not be completed, and a recording may inform you that your call cannot be completed as dialed. If you get this recording, you must hang up and dial again using the area code and the 7-digit number.

Beginning July 16, 2022, dialing “988” will route your call to the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline.

What do you need to do?
Before October 24, 2021, in addition to changing the way you dial local calls, all services, automatic dialing equipment, or other types of equipment that are programmed to complete calls to 7-digit local numbers will need to be reprogrammed to complete calls to 10-digit (or 1+10-digit) numbers, including the area code. Some examples are: life safety systems and medical monitoring devices, PBXs, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, fire or burglar alarm systems, other security systems or gates, speed dialers, mobile or other wireless phone contact lists, call forwarding settings, voicemail services, and other similar functions. Be sure to check your website, personal and business stationery, advertising materials, personal and business checks, contact information, your personal or pet ID tags, and other such items to ensure the area code is included.

What will remain the same?

  • 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 this dialing change.
  • What is a local call now will remain a local call regardless of the number of digits dialed.
  • You will continue to dial 1 + area code + telephone number for all long distance calls.
  • You can still dial just three digits to reach 911 (emergency services) and 711 (relay services), as well as 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, or 811 where those services are available in your community.
  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can still be reached by dialing 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Will you be able to dial 988 without a prefix from a multi-line telephone system?
No, you still will need to dial a prefix first when dialing 988 from a multi-line telephone system, where a prefix is required (for example, dialing 9 first from a hotel or office building multi-line telephone system).

Can you still dial 1-800-273-TALK to reach the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline?
Yes, you can dial 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach the Lifeline now (wireless customers can dial 988 now too). Starting July 16, 2022, everyone can dial either 988 or 1-800-273-TALK to reach the Lifeline.

Is 988 a new area code?
No, “988” is a new 3-digit code that may be used to reach the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline, starting on July 16, 2022.

Who may you contact with questions?
For more information, please click the Chat with us button at the bottom right corner of this page to contact one of our representatives, or visit the FCC website at

In August 2019, FCC staff—in consultation with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Department of Veteran Affairs, and the
North American Numbering Council—released a report recommending the use of 988 as the 3-digit code
for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. In July 2020, the FCC adopted rules designating this new
phone number for Americans in crisis to connect with suicide prevention and mental health crisis
counselors. The transition, which will take place over the next two years, will result in phone service
providers directing all 988 calls to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by July 16, 2022.
Topline Takeaways on 988:
• Suicide prevention is a critical need. Since 2008, suicide has ranked as the tenth leading
cause of death in the United States. Suicide claimed the lives of more than 48,000 Americans
in 2018, resulting in about one death every 11 minutes.
• Americans who need help today can find it by calling the National Suicide Prevention
Lifeline. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached by calling 1-800-273-
8255 (1-800-273-TALK) and through online chats. Veterans and Service members may
reach the Veterans Crisis Line by pressing 1 after dialing, as well as by chatting online at
http://www.veteranscrisisline.net or texting 838255.
• The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of approximately 170
local- and state-funded crisis centers. The Department of Health and Human Services’
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration administers the National
Suicide Prevention Lifeline, in partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs, which
manages the Veterans Crisis Line.
• Under the new rules, calls to 988 will be directed to 1-800-273-TALK, which will remain
operational during and after the 988 transition.
• The requirement to transition to 988 as the National Suicide Prevention Hotline will
take effect on July 16, 2022. The transition time gives phone companies time to make
necessary network changes. It additionally provides time for the National Suicide Prevention
Lifeline to prepare for a likely increase in the volume of calls following the switch.
• The adoption of the new rules reflects a commitment to delivering Americans necessary
intervention services. Switching to an easy-to-remember 988 as the ‘911’ for suicide
prevention and mental health crisis services will make it easier for Americans in crisis to
access the help they need and decrease the stigma surrounding suicide and mental health
issues. FCC staff first proposed 988 as a three-digit, nationwide number in a report submitted
to Congress in 2019.
To learn more, visit https://www.fcc.gov/suicide-prevention-hotline.

About Rep. Steven Smith

Steven Smith is a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, serving his 7th term. Rep. Smith currently represents Charlestown, Newport, and Unity. Rep. Smith is the Deputy Speaker of the NH House.
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