News & Politics

DC Is Probably Going to Get a New Area Code, and We Really Want to Know What It Will Be

202 may be joined by a new number come 2022.


The countdown is finally here: No, we’re not talking about season three of the Crown, a certain first Tuesday of November, or even the end of the year 2020. We’re talking about the countdown toward the end of the 202 area code.

Yes, that’s right, DC’s famed area code, that of Ludacris songs and T-shirts, may run out of new numbers by the third quarter of 2022, WTOP reports. In anticipation, the DC Public Service Commission is holding a public hearing today at 2 PM to approve a petition for a new area code.

The 202 area code was one of the first codes instituted by AT&T in 1947, according to WAMU. And because DC has a relatively small scope compared to most states, it’s been able to remain a single-area code-holder for several decades. But due in part to things like increased technology usage and folks holding onto to cell phone area codes when they move from DC, the amount of 202 numbers available has dwindled.

There’s no word yet on what the new area code could be. That’ll be up to the North American Numbering Plan Administrator. But what would you want? Something easy, like 222? Or perhaps foreboding, like 666? Let the numerical powers-that-be know your preference—you can submit written comments to the commission until September 4.

Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Home & Features Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. She’s written for The Washington Post, Garden & Gun, Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Del Ray.