The biggest change to making phone calls in a long time hit its deadline on Sunday. But is the change actually afoot?

As of October 24, 2021, mandatory 10-digit calling was to have taken effect all across South Dakota. That meant that you must use the 605 area code at the beginning of every phone number in the state, regardless of if you also had a 605 phone, or were even calling locally.

I tested it out on Monday and called my cell phone from my desk phone using the 605. Sure enough, it worked.

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Then I tried it out without the area code in front of the number. My cell phone still rang. I tried to call our landline number at home that we still have and never answer. It too rang when I called without the area code.

The reason for this change was to make it so that 988, the new National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline, will function correctly. 988 is a Sioux Falls prefix so if the area code was not in front of it there would be massive glitches in the system.

For a lot of people, this won't really be much of a change at all. In the age of cell phones, most people keep the number they had before leaving their home state. A friend of mine mentioned that they didn't realize you could make local calls without the area code because they have an Iowa number and must always use the area code.

Despite the deadline coming and going, and 7-digit calling still functional in South Dakota, it won't be by July 16, 2022. That is the day the 988 number goes into service.

If you need someone to talk to, call 1-800-273-8255.

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