Everything you need to know about the 988 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline + mandatory 10-digit dialing for all US local calls

Ring Central Blog


Facebook Twitter Linkedin Copy link post URL copied
3 min read



When it comes to your company’s biggest priorities, a lot of areas might come to mind: research and development, customer success, revenue growth. But none of these priorities are achievable without the well-being of your biggest assets: the tens, hundreds, or thousands of employees that make your company the success it is today.

This is why we place users at the center of our solutions, giving them everything they need to build human connections—especially as employees recover from the pandemic and settle into new work paradigms.

This time, we’re making a change that addresses workers’ mental health and well-being. Under new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) guidelines, all carriers have until July 2022 to launch 988, the new number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

988 and 10-digit dialing

We’re implementing 988 a bit sooner. Starting October 2021, all RingCentral users in need of assistance can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988.

Also starting October 2021, all RingCentral users assigned a US phone number will have to dial 10-digits (area code + telephone number) to make a call, whether it’s a local or long-distance call.

As of February 2022, the Default Area Code (DAC) feature will be removed for all US area codes. As of that date, users assigned a US phone number must dial 10-digits to place local calls successfully. 

Why are we requiring 10-digit dialing in the United States?

The technical reason for the 10-digit requirement is simple—several area codes still support 7-digit dialing and have phone numbers that start with 988 (e.g. 988-1000). If someone were to dial a local phone number that starts with 988, the phone switch would route the call to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

So for 988 to work properly, the FCC is requiring all phone providers to implement mandatory 10-digit local dialing nationwide by July 2022. However, as mentioned above, we’re implementing 988 and 10-digit local dialing in October 2021.

Who is affected by this change?

All users who are assigned US phone numbers and who dial local numbers without the 3-digit area code.   

How should users complete local calls in the United States?

Users should dial the area code + telephone number for all calls (local and long distance).  Users who already dial 10 digits for local calls should continue to do so.  

What happens if I don’t dial 10-digits after February 2022?

Beginning February 2022, users must dial 10 digits (area code + telephone number) to complete local calls in the United States. On and after this date, local calls dialed without the area code, will not be completed, and users will receive a message that the number cannot be completed as dialed. Users will be required to dial the number using all 10 digits.

Mental health at work: Employees share how they navigated major life events

What will you need to do?

In addition to dialing 10 digits (area code + telephone number) to complete local calls in the US, local 7-digit numbers stored in contact cards, customer records, or call forwarding settings should be updated to include 10 digits (area code + telephone number) to ensure calls are connected successfully.

What will remain the same?

Who can I contact with questions?

If you have any questions regarding 10-digit dialing, please contact RingCentral support at support.ringcentral.com

You can also find additional information on the FCC’s website at www.fcc.gov/suicide-prevention-hotline.

Originally published Aug 05, 2021, updated Aug 22, 2021

Up next

RingCentral updates

Introducing the RingCentral for Microsoft Teams embedded dialer

Highlights: Microsoft Teams users can now add the RingCentral softphone dialer directly into their platform. The embedded dialer syncs with your RingCentral contacts for easy access so users can quickly make calls without searching numbers. Teams users can also use the RingCentral MVP app as a calling endpoint, with enterprise-grade features (Five 9s uptime SLA, ...


Facebook Twitter Linkedin Copy link post URL copied

Related content

Employee experience

Neurodiversity and mental health at work: RingCentral’s employees share their stories

RingCentral updates

Introducing Team Huddle, voice activated meeting rooms, and more

Communication and collaboration

I switched to RingCentral from another video conferencing provider. Here's what I ...