Telephone

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

Starting Saturday, people across Idaho will have to adjust to a new normal: dialing 10-digits when they place a call – even local ones. The shift comes as the Gem State prepares to adopt a second area code: 986.

2-0-8, those numbers have been synonymous with Idaho since 1947 when area codes were introduced. But, 70 years later, phone numbers prefaced by those three digits are in short supply.

Fernando Clavijo / Flickr

There are just a few days left to guarantee a phone number with the 208 area code synonymous with Idaho. Starting Saturday, callers in the Gem State will have to start dialing full 10-digit phone numbers as Idaho inaugurates its second area code.

New numbers will start being assigned the 986 area code in early September, but 208 numbers could run out sooner in some places, forcing early adoption of the new digits.

Kathy Willens / AP Photo

Idaho residents soon will have to enter an area code to call other people in the state.

The Coeur d'Alene Press reports that starting in August, Idaho telephone customers must start punching in 10 digits to make a call.

Anyone who gets a new phone number after Sept. 5 will be assigned the new area code 986.

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission announced in late 2015 that the new code will overlay existing 208 users rather than split the state into two divisions to assign the new number.