By the end of this month (October), we will all have to adapt to a new way of making phone calls in South Dakota.

Starting Saturday, October 24, mandatory 10-digit dialing will take effect across the Mount Rushmore State.

That means every call you make, including local calls, must include the area code before the phone number.

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According to a press release from the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, the change is the result of the Federal Communications Commission’s effort to establish 988 as a three-digit dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline.

The new 988 dialing code will be available nationwide by July 16, 2022.

To avoid confusion, South Dakota is one of 35 states forced to make the change because of an existing 988 local exchange in the state. In all, 82 area codes, including South Dakota's 605 were impacted.

After October 24, local calls dialed with only seven digits may not be completed. Instead, a recording may inform you that your call cannot be completed as dialed.

Now might be a good time to check the contact list in your phone to make sure you have area codes attached to all of your stored numbers.

For additional information on 10-digit dialing, contact your local telephone service provider or visit the PUC website.

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