HELENA — Beginning in 2021 Montanans will need to dial “406” when calling any Montana phone number, whether or not they’re in-state.
The change is the result of the FCC approving “988” as the three digit number for the national suicide lifeline.
Along with that change, the FCC also ruled that any state with a "988" prefix -- Dillon numbers here in Montana -- must move to mandatory 10 digit dialing in order to avoid accidental calls to the lifeline.
No one will need to change their number, and the mandatory 10 digit dialing will apply to the entire state.
The FCC is encouraging people to start dialing 406 for any local call beginning April 24, 2021. Beginning on Oct. 24, 2021, seven digit local calling will not work in Montana.
Beginning July 16, 2022, dialing “988” will route all calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Customers must continue to dial 1-800-273-8255 to reach the Lifeline until that time.