Hawaii residents must now dial the area code “808” plus the desired telephone number in order to complete local calls.
The change to 10-digit dialing for local calls follows the Federal Communications Commission’s recent approval of “988” as the number to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The 988 number starts on July 16, 2022. Until that date, callers must dial 800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
The 808 area code covers all the Hawaiian islands. Hawaii is one of 36 states that use “988” as a prefix, according to a news release from Hawaiian Telcom.
If you don’t add the “808” to local calls, your call won’t go through and “you may hear a recording informing you that your call cannot be completed as dialed.”
That means other devices and services, such as fax machines, voicemail and call forwarding settings will need to reprogrammed to include the complete 10-digit number.
Things that won’t change include your telephone number and the Hawaii area code itself. Emergency services, such as 911, are also unaffected by the new rule.