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Central Valley to get new 350 area code as 209 runs low on numbers

STOCKTON – California's Central Valley is getting a new area code -- 350 -- to ensure that enough phone numbers are available in the region currently served by the 209 area code, the California Public Utilities Commission announced Thursday.

The 209 area code currently is used in parts of Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Escalon, Fresno, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tuolumne counties, but is projected to run out of available phone numbers by the end of 2022, according to the CPUC.

The commission voted Thursday to approve a request by the North American Numbering Plan Administrator for an area code overlay so subsequent new phone numbers created in the 209 area code will have the 350 area code. Implementation of the overlay is set to be complete by the fourth quarter of 2022, according to the CPUC.

Existing phone users with 209 area codes will retain those, and can continue to use three digits to call 911, as well as 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 and 811.

A decade ago, a similar overlay was implemented in the South Bay, where dwindling 408 area code numbers prompted the creation of the 669 area code. The 209 area code was introduced in 1958 when it split from 415, one of the original three area codes in California, and the 209 area code itself was split in 1997 to form the 559 area code.

More information about the 209 area code and the overlay plans can be found at https://www.cpuc.ca.gov/209areacode.

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