TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Kansas Corporation Commission is encouraging Kansans to start dialing the area code when making phone calls. The area code will be required to make most phone calls in Kansas starting in October.
The change is being made to make room for the new National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Starting next year, people will be able to dial “988” to access the lifeline.
In order to make this work, 82 area codes in 36 states will switch to ten digit dialing. In Kansas, this will affect the “785” and “620” area codes.
Kansas Corporation Commissioner Susan Duffy said they expect this will be a difficult change for people who use landlines.
“That’s where we’ll see perhaps some confusion and concern is our older folks who are still relying on their landline,” Duffy said. “They are used to just dialing a seven digit number to call their neighbor or to refill their prescriptions.”
Duffy said many people already have the full ten digit phone number saved in their cell phones.
Kansas is entering a practice phase on Saturday. People are encouraged to start using the ten digit numbers during this grace period. Starting October 24, ten digits will be mandatory.
The new National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is expected to go live on July 16, 2022.