New 821 Area Code in South Carolina

What is the new 821 area code overlay?

At the end of 2023, the South Carolina Public Service Commission announced that a new 821 area code will be made available to the Upstate, in the same area currently served by the 864 area code, making more phone numbers available to the public (both individuals and businesses) based out of that area.

What is an area code overlay?

Area code overlays occur when there is a looming shortage of phone numbers available in a given area. The North American Numbering Plan Administrator will usually flag the need to increase the supply, and then local public service commissions will take action to address the shortage.

The need for an area code overlay should come as exciting news, as it usually signals growth in a region. When more people and businesses choose to call a particular area their home, they use up the local phone number supply. 

Where is the new 821 area code located, and who's affected?

The new 821 area code will serve the same geographic area as the existing 864 area code. This includes (but is not limited to) the major cities of Greenville, Spartanburg, and Anderson, but also includes Abbeville, Cherokee, Greenwood, Laurens, McCormick, Newberry, Oconee, Pickens, Saluda, and Union.

People and businesses who already have a phone number in this area will not be affected. Moving forward, anyone trying to add a line will now have more numbers available under the 821 area code.

911 and 411 services will remain unaffected.

I’m based in South Carolina and I already have an 864 area code. How does this overlay affect me?

The new 821 area code overlay does not affect you directly, since you'll get to keep your existing phone number(s). The overlay simply increases the total supply of phone numbers available for anyone adding a line of service. So, if you go to add a new line to your phone plan, you will now see phone numbers with the 821 area code. Additionally, your neighbors may start to have 821 phone numbers.

You will, however, need to start dialing both the area code and the phone number for all calls, including local calls. Make sure any device you own and use to make phone calls is equipped to dial all ten digits. You should also be sure to communicate your area code on any stationery, business cards, or other items.

When does the new 821 area code go into effect?

Beginning July 19, 2024, you will need to dial any phone number using all ten digits, i.e., both the area code and the 7-digit phone number.

Starting on August 19, 2024, the new 821 area code will be available to anyone in the upstate region served by the 864 area code.

For more information, please visit the South Carolina Public Service Commission site.