San Diegans will now use area codes for local calls

SAN DIEGO — San Diegans now have to dial ten digits for all calls — even local ones.

As of Saturday, callers with area codes 619 and 858 have to enter the area code for all calls. Landline callers will have to dial one first, then the area code and phone number.

The change is the result of an overlay of the two area codes approved last year by the California Public Utilities Commission.

The 619 area code had been expected to run out of prefixes next year, while the 858 area code was forecast to have about 30 years’ worth of prefixes left, according to the Utilities Commission.

As a result, state regulators in April 2017 approved a proposal to remove the boundary between the two area codes.

The former area code covered the southern half of San Diego County, while the latter covered the northern part of San Diego and some North County cities, including Poway and Del Mar.

Existing phones will keep their current numbers, but future phone customers in the newly-combined 619/858 zone could be assigned numbers from either area code, regardless of where they live.

It’s not the first time for such arrangement in the region. In 2009, the 442 area code was created as an overlay with 760, which spans from North County to the Imperial and Coachella valleys, as well as much of the Mojave Desert.