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The Valley's new 747 area code means dialing changes for 818

April 13, 2009 |  1:15 pm

Cellphone purseStarting Saturday, residents living in the San Fernando Valley will have to dial a little differently.

The California Public Utilities Commission is reminding folks living in the 818 and 747 area codes that they will have to dial 1 plus the area code plus the telephone number to complete their calls.

Because the two area codes serve the same section of town, 1 plus the area code must be used when dialing any telephone number, including calls withing the same area code, the commission says. If the area code isn't included, the call won't work. So, for instance, if you're in the 818 area code and you want to call your neighbor to complain about a barking dog, you still need to dial 11 digits -- like this: 1-818-000-0000.

The reason for the new dialing rules? To meet Angelenos' hunger for more phone numbers, the new 747 area code overlays the same part of the Valley that the 818 area code serves.

Life safety systems, fax machines, internet dial-up numbers, speed dialers, cellular-phone lists, call-forwarding settings, voicemail services, alarm and security systems and similar automatic dialing tools will need to be reprogrammed.

Three-digit numbers work the same as before, the commission says. Just dial the three digits: 911, 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 and 811.

Existing telephone numbers, including current area codes, won't change. The cost of telephone calls, coverage areas, services and rates won't change either, the commission says. As for the finger fatigue from all the extra dialing -- you're on your own.

For more information on the 818 and 747 area codes and resulting changes, visit

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Photo: Industrialwear's 1990 purse for a cellular telephone, back before area code overlays. Credit: Los Angeles Times