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August 16, 2018

New area code (640) in South Jersey means changes for those with old area codes (609, 856)

It will include counties like Gloucester, Atlantic, and Somerset

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Starting on Saturday, anyone with 856 and 609 area codes will have to change the way they're dialing phone numbers. 

It's not a big change, so everyone stay calm, but it's enough to drive you nuts if you don't pay attention. 

Basically, the 609 area code is being overwhelmed with new numbers, and anyone assigned a new telephone number in the area will be given a 640 code instead, moving forward. But those 640 area codes won't start being used until Sept. 17. 

The biggest change this weekend is that dialers in the 856 and 609 areas will have use the area code, in addition to the seven-digit number, in order to successfully place a call.

And if you're placing a call outside of the 856 or 609 area, you also have to add the +1 when dialing. 

Here's the full breakdown, via the State of New Jersey Board of Public Utilities:

• Calls from 609 or 640 to 609 or 640: Area Code + seven-digit telephone number

• Calls from 609 or 640 to 856 or any area code other than 609 or 640: 1 + area code + seven-digit telephone number

• Calls from 856 to 609 or 640 or any area code other than 856: 1 + area code + seven-digit telephone number

• Calls from 856 to 856: seven-digit telephone number

The following counties are in the 856 area code: Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cumberland, Gloucester, Salem

These counties are in the 609 area code: Atlantic, Burlington, Cape May, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Somerset

“It is important that all consumers take a moment to understand and implement the new dialing procedures,” said New Jersey Board of Public Utilities President Joseph L. Fiordaliso. “Once they get used to the changes the new dialing procedures should become second nature.”

Oh, and officials are reminding people to change all of their speed dials and automatic dialing that only includes seven digit numbers, too.

Neustar, the North American numbering plan administrator, assigned the new area code to the South Jersey area in April 2017 when it predicted the 609 code would be fully used by the third quarter of 2018. 

Anyone else sentimental about area codes and memorizing your old pals' phone numbers in the days before digital dialing? Just me? OK. RIP, 609.

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