News & Politics

DC Is Running Out of 202 Numbers. So the New Area Code Will Be 771.

DC will add the area code 771 to local numbers by the end of 2022.

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Hold onto your 202 hoodies and T-shirts: There’s a new area code in town.

Well, in a few years there will be. DC will add the area code 771 to local numbers by the end of 2022, according to the DC Public Service Commission.

This news comes after the North American Numbering Plan Administrator announced earlier this year that DC would soon run out of available 202 numbers. The DC Public Service Commission held a virtual community hearing September 1 to approve a petition for a new code.

The 202 original has a long history: It was one of the first area codes created by AT&T in 1947, according to WAMU. DC has been a one-area-code city for so long because of its smaller size compared to most states. But due to things like a higher use of technology and people holding onto 202 numbers when moving from DC, the original code’s days are numbered.

If this shift to 771 is giving you area code whiplash, fear not: It’s likely DC won’t have to announce any more new codes for quite some time after this. One area code can create roughly 8 million new phone numbers.

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.