On February 09, 2017, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved an overlay in Decision 17-02-010 to accommodate the need for additional telephone numbers in the 916 area code region. On March 10, 2018, the overlay became effective and the 279 area code was overlaid onto the 916 area code.

The overlay allows existing 916 area code customers to keep their telephone numbers and the 916 area code. However, calls made from the 916 or 279 area code need to be dialed as 1 + area code + 7-digit telephone number. Calls place from 916 or 279 numbers without the “1” and the area code will not be completed and will result in a recording instructing the caller to hang up and dial again. Cellphone callers who have service with certain cell service providers may be able complete calls without dialing “1” before the area code.

Dialing 1 + area code + 7-digit telephone number does not change what a call costs and does not mean that a call is a toll or long distance call. Therefore, calling areas and rates do not change. What is a local call before the overlay remains a local call after the overlay and dialing “1” and the area code does not mean there is a charge for the call. Calls to 911, as well as 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 and 811 are not affected, and continue to be dialed with 3 digits.


The 916 area code was created in 1947 as one of the original three area codes in California. The 916 area code has been split twice: in 1959 to create the 707 area code and in 1997 to create the 530 area code.

Today, the 916 area code and its overlay area code 279 serve the greater Sacramento area, which includes parts of El Dorado, Solano, Sutter, Yolo, Placer, and Sacramento Counties. The 916 and 279 area codes serve the cities of Lincoln, Loomis, Rocklin and Roseville in Placer County; Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Folsom, Isleton, Rancho Cordova, and Sacramento in Sacramento County; and the City of West Sacramento in Yolo County. The 916/279 area code complex is bordered on the north and east by the 530 area code, to the west by the 707 area code, and to the south by the 925 area code and the 209 area code.

Map of the 916/279 area code territory