New 861 Area Code in Illinois

What is the new 861 area code overlay?

To provide enough phone numbers to supply local customers, the Illinois Commerce Commission announced the addition of 861 as an area code serving northwestern and northcentral Illinois. Rollout of this new area code will begin in early 2023.


What is an area code overlay?

An area code overlay is when a new area code is assigned to a region to support the local phone number supply. Adding a new area code increases the local supply of phone numbers available for people to claim. It’s a vital step in areas with a growing population, to make sure that no one runs out of area codes or phone numbers.


Where is the new 861 area code located and who is affected?

The new 861 area code is being added to support the existing 309 area code, and so it will serve the same geographic area. Both the new 861 area code and the existing 309 area code will serve the same areas, which include Bureau, Dewitt, Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Knox, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, McLean, Mercer, Peoria, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, Warren, Whiteside, and Woodford counties.


If I’m based in the Illinois area and have a 309 area code, am I affected?

The 861 area code overlay will make more Illinois-area phone numbers available for people to claim, however existing 309 numbers will not be affected.


When does the new 861 area code become effective?

Starting on February 24, 2023, phone numbers with an 861 area code will be available to customers in the same region as the 309 area code. Anyone requesting new service or adding a line to existing service will be able to select a phone number with an 861 area code.


What is changing for me?

The 861 area code will function just like any other area code. If you are an existing customer in the area and you are not adding new services to your phone plans, nothing will change for you.

The only change is that anyone setting up a new phone line in a region previously served exclusively by the 309 area code. Starting February 24, these customers will now be offered phone numbers with an 861 area code.


What do I need to do?

No action is needed from you. Keep an eye out for the addition of the 861 area code. People and businesses in your community may start to have numbers with this new area code. As always, be sure to dial “1” followed by the full ten-digit phone number when making calls, even if they are local.