Area Code Overlay for 518

Residents and Businesses Prepare for 518 Area Code Overlay In Eastern Upstate New York

Mandatory 10-Digit Dialing Begins August 19, 2017


Residential and business customers within the existing 518 area code should be prepared for the introduction of the new 838 area code.  Beginning September 19, 2017, customers in the 518 area code region requesting new service, an additional line, or in some cases moving their service, may be assigned a number in the new 838 area code.


To ensure a continuing supply of telephone numbers, the New York Public Service Commission ordered an area code overlay for the area served by 518.  The new 838 area code will be “overlaid” or superimposed over the same geographical area as the 518 area code, which covers the eastern upstate portion of New York, serving communities such as Albany, Plattsburgh, Lake Placid, and Saratoga.

Since March 18, 2017, customers have been able to place calls within the 518 area code region by dialing the customary 7 digits or by dialing 10 digits (area code + 7 digits).  However, on August 19, 2017, the option to place calls within the 518 area using 7 digits will end, and all calls made within and between area codes 518 and 838 must be placed using the 10-digit telephone number.  If customers forget and dial just 7 digits, then the call will not be completed and the customers will hear an announcement instructing them to hang up and redial using the area code.  On September 19, 2017, the new 838 area code becomes effective, and customers receiving numbers from the 838 area code must dial the area code on every call placed as well.


The most important facts that consumers and businesses need to know about the upcoming 838 area code overlay are:

  • Your telephone number, including current area code, will not change.
  • You will need to dial area code + telephone number for all calls within and between the 518 and 838 area codes (518 or 838 plus the 7-digit telephone number.)
  • You will continue to dial 1+ area code + telephone number for all calls to other area codes (outside of 518 and 838).
  • What is now a local call will remain a local call.
  • The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the overlay.
  • You can still dial just three digits to reach 911.
  • If 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 or 811 are currently available in your community, you will still dial these codes with just three digits.


Customers are reminded to identify their telephone number as a ten digit number (area code + 7-digit telephone number), and include the area code when giving the number to their friends, family, business associates and business customers, etc.


Customers should ensure that all services, automatic dialing equipment, applications, software, or other types of equipment recognize the new 838 area code as a valid area code.  Some examples are: stored telephone numbers in contact lists in wireless phones, PBXs, fax machines, internet dial-up numbers, speed dialers, call forwarding settings, voicemail services, etc.  Medical alert devices, safety alarm security systems and gates, ankle monitors or other similar equipment must be programmed to use 10-digit dialing.  Many systems operate on 10-digit dialing by default, but some older equipment may still use 7-digits.  Please contact your medical alert or security provider if you don’t know whether your equipment needs to be reprogramed to accommodate the upcoming change to 10-digit dialing.  You may also want to check your website, business stationery and advertising materials, printed checks, contact information, and your personal or pet ID tags to ensure the area code is included.  Remember that all calls made within and between area codes 518 and 838 must be programmed using 10-digits, and a “1” must be added before the area code for all calls being placed to other area codes outside of 518 and 838.


For more information, please visit the following websites New York Public Service Commission’s website at  Customers with any questions regarding information provided in this release may call Pattersonville Telephone Company at the 518-887-2121.