New Calling Procedures and Area Code

A new area code is being introduced in Upstate New York EFFECTIVE AUGUST 19, 2017.

The New York State Public Service Commission has created a new area code for the eastern upstate area due to telephone companies running out of new 10 digit numbers that can be generated using the 518 area code.  The new area code, 838, will overlay the 17-county area that currently uses 518, including: (Albany, Clinton, Columbia, Dutchess, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saint Lawrence, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren and Washington).

Beginning March 18, 2017, if you have a 518 area code, you should begin entering the area code for all phone calls.  There will be a grace period, so if you forget and enter 7 digits during the grace period, your telephone call will be completed as dialed.

Beginning August 19, 2017, if you have a 518 area code, the new calling procedure will be required for all calls. On or after this date, if you don’t use the new calling procedure, your phone call WILL NOT be completed as dialed and a recording will instruct you to hang up and try again.

Beginning September 19, 2017, the telephone lines or services may be assigned numbers with the 838 area code. If you have an 838 area code, you must enter the area code and the 7 digit phone number on all calls or the call WILL NOT be completed as dialed.

In addition to changing your dialing procedures, all services, automatic dialing equipment, or other types of equipment that are programmed to dial a 7-digit number will need to be reprogrammed to use the new dialing procedure.  Be sure to check your website, stationery, advertising materials, printed checks, contact information, and your personal or pet ID tags to ensure the area code is included.

What will remain the same is your telephone number and what is a local call now will remain to be a local call regardless of the number of digits dialed. Should you have additional questions regarding the 518 Area Code Overlay, please do not hesitate to contact our office or to visit the New York Public Service Commission’s website at