Did you know New Jersey already has 9 area codes? 609, 856, 848, 732, 908, 201, 551, 973, and 862. A 10th one will soon be added. Welcome 640. It will be what they call an overlay within the 609 area code territory from Cape May to Trenton. It means beginning September 17th new phone lines in the present 609 region can be assigned numbers with the new 640 area code. If your number already starts with 609 your area code won't change.

But the way you use your phone will.

Basically, if you're calling from a 609 number to a 609 number you'll now have to add the area code along with the 7 digit number. Same with the 640. Same with calling 609 to 640 or 640 to 609. Confused yet? If calling from a 609 or a 640 to 856 or ANY area code OTHER than 609 or 640 you'll have to dial a 1 plus the area code plus the 7 digit number. Same will go for 856. I know, you're thinking how did 856 get wrapped up in this mess? There was 856 off in the corner minding its own business and BAM. Like I said, click on the link for the full explanation.

The BPU is saying all stored numbers in contacts lists in phones along with all automatic dialing equipment will need to be reprogrammed from just dialing a 7 digit number from a 609 area code to reflect the new procedures. This will apply to other programmed equipment like fax machines, alarm security systems, voicemail services, medical monitoring devices and even ankle monitors. To make things ever more confusing, the BPU isn't specifying whether the changes are only for land line or also for cell phones. They just tell anyone with a preprogrammed device to follow the changes. I'd check with my cell phone provider and ask them if I were you.

Oh, one last thing. Even though the start date for the 640 begins September 17th, they want everyone to change the way they dial starting August 18th or else your call won't go through. Because, I guess, it wasn't confusing enough as is.

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