As you travel to a foreign land, there are numerous things you should be aware of. Currency system, language, transport means, governmental control, visa… And this would be the uncompleted list without telephone calls. Very often people get confused about these mysterious numbers we add to each phone number at the beginning. Normally they are called ‘codes of regions’. The United States of America, being a popular destination for travelers and job-hunters, has got its special system of area codes, accepted by the law.
So what are the aspects of highest importance when it comes to those codes?
First of all, we’d like to say that numbers like 0 and 1 are not allowed for adding to any phone number but American central office codes. These rules are tightly connected to NANP, i. e. North American Numbering Plan. The system divides the country in regions mainly in North America, including the Caribbeans. Each of these geo numbering plan areas, other way called NPAs, is given a three-number area code or even multiple codes.
Several things you will need to remember while being in the USA include the following numbers:
- 0 – for the phone calls in which an operator assists you;
- 9 – are reserved for the future (not in use yet).
Last two numbers matching (like 366 or 800) – ERC, or easily recognizable codes, are used for the so called ‘toll-free services’ where the call is paid for by the company which gives the service.
Concerning Washington State, today its code is 206 for the whole region, including Seattle, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, the islands of Bainbridge and Vashon. Vancouver, and Tacoma. Nowadays, however, the code has split into several region codes – for South 253 is used, for North we have 360, 435, for East it is 425, for Cascades – 509, and for West – 360. This has happened mainly because the responsible organs said the government was running out of phone numbers by 2018. That is the reason behind changing, for instance, 360 code to the new one – 564.
As for Washington DC, its code is 202 now. Here is a map image of 202 area code for visuals to be a better orientated inhabitant of Washington DC.
Until 2017, you needed simply to type a seven digit dialing like +1(202)XXX-XXXX to accomplish a call from your number, where +1 means the international US country code, (202) stands for Washington DC code, and XXX-XXXX is the local phone number you are willing to call.
Yet, these days seven digit numbers are disappearing, so it is more often required to use ten digit dialing for initiating both toll and other types of phone calls in the district.
Some tips to make your American life easier
- Incoming calls are made free if you use the Internet to receive them through the KeKu app.
- If you are making a call within the US to a number in the same area, it is unnecessary to dial 1 before the area code.