Area codes? Minnesota soon will have one more: 924

Published 10:23 am Wednesday, April 19, 2023

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Residents of southern Minnesota will soon have a second area code option, in addition to the longstanding 507.

With 507 numbers poised to run out in the next few years, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has approved 924 as an additional area code for the region that includes Rochester, Austin, Winona, Mankato, Worthington and Marshall.

There’ll be no change for people who currently have 507 numbers. But starting soon, any new or additional lines in southern Minnesota may be assigned the new 924 area code in what’s called an area code overlay.

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It’ll be the state’s eighth area code, and the first new area code in Minnesota since 763 and 952 were introduced in the Twin Cities suburbs back in 2000.

And it may not be the last. A PUC document said the 218 area code in northern Minnesota is poised to run out of numbers by the end of 2026, though the commission hasn’t announced plans for addressing that shortage.

Minnesota’s other area codes are forecast to have enough numbers for at least 15 years.

When area codes were first assigned to states in 1947, Minnesota had two: 218 and 612. The 507 area code was added in 1954.

That setup remained unchanged for more than four decades until 320 was added in 1996, 651 in 1998, and 763 and 952 in 2000.

In the past, regulators introduced new area codes by splitting geographic areas. But that hasn’t happened in the U.S. since 2007, the PUC said, with an area code overlay now the preferred approach.