New area code overlay rolls out in SF, with some confusion 

New phone-dialing procedures in anticipation of the new 628 area code rolled out this weekend in San Francisco with some confusion, but overall, no major incidents were reported in connection with the system, emergency officials said.

As of Saturday, residents of San Francisco, most of Marin County and a portion of San Mateo County are required to use the new 1 + 10-digit dialing procedure for all calls from the 415 area code. New phone lines or services may be assigned numbers using the 628 area code beginning March 21.

San Francisco dispatchers started receiving 911 calls at about 4:30 a.m. Saturday from residents unaware of the new 10-digit dialing procedure who were trying to reach other city departments. Such calls picked up between 7 and 9 a.m., and tapered off by 11 a.m., said Francis Zamora, a spokesman for the Department of Emergency Management.

"From what I understand from dispatchers, a lot of people were trying to pay a parking ticket or figure out if they had jury duty," said Zamora, estimating that around several dozen such calls occurred Saturday.

There was also a surge of area code-related calls to The City's 311 line for general government information, the number that residents are told to call unless there is a police, fire or medical emergency.

"We have a saying, 'If you have a burning question, call 311. If your building is burning, call 911,'" Zamora said.

About The Author

Laura Dudnick

Laura Dudnick, a Bay Area native, covers education and planning for The San Francisco Examiner. She previously worked as a senior local editor for, and as the San Mateo County bureau reporter and weekend editor for Bay City News Service.
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