Changes coming to how Maricopa County area codes are assigned and used: What you need to know

Hundreds of people are moving to Maricopa County per day and as a result, changes will be coming to how area codes are distributed to mobile phones.

We currently have 480, 602, and 623 area codes. 

How are area codes assigned?

Doug Clark, Executive Director with the Arizona Corporation Comission says, "As populations grow, they look at the various areas they draw lines to create area codes and develop numbers to provide efficient telephone or communication services to those areas. And as you pointed out, Maricopa County is the fastest growing county in the country. And so as we move forward, they had to look at how you continue to efficiently provide telecommunication service in the region without creating a lot more numbers and additional area codes."

As the area codes came out, you were assigned one, but it was determined by your residential area. 480 was the East Valley, 602 was mostly central Phoenix, and 623 was the West Valley. Now, that won't matter because going forward, the 602, 623, and 480 numbers will be used interchangeably.

"In 1999, the Phoenix rate center was split from the 602 NPA [Numbering Plan Area] into three NPAs, creating the 480 and 623 NPAs. The 480 NPA serves the southcentral area of Arizona including, but not limited to, a portion of the City of Phoenix, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, and Sun Lakes in the counties of Maricopa and Pinal. The 602 NPA borders the west side of the 480 NPA, serves the majority of the City of Phoenix as well as, but not limited to, a portion of the City of Glendale, and the communities of Cave Creek and Ahwatukee. The 623 NPA borders the west and north sides of the 602 NPA, the west side of the 480 NPA and serves the areas of, but not limited to, the City of Glendale and the communities of Avondale, Tolleson, Buckeye, Sun City and New River," per 

480 area code supply

On, officials stated, "Due to numbering resource demands, the 480 Numbering Plan Area (NPA), or Area Code, is projected to exhaust its supply of Central Office Codes by the first quarter of 2024."

"And because 480 was getting to the point where there were no numbers left to be available," said Clark. "We had to look at how you most efficiently provide those numbers going forward. And with 480 running out, we would have had to divide another area, create another area code and start distributing additional numbers. This way, we can utilize the three area codes that are available, and it will cause less confusion in the marketplace."

For example, if a consumer buys their very first cell phone in Scottsdale, it very well could have a 623 area code assigned to it.

MORE: Nationwide map of area codes

Will another area code be needed anytime soon?

Clark says not anytime soon, but if the Maricopa County keeps growing at its current rate, there will be a time when an additional area code will be required. "And maybe lines will have to be shifted to include that area code also."

According to the AZCC, the rapid proliferation of cell phones and internet-based communication services is accelerating the use or consumption of these numbers, meaning fewer and fewer numbers will be available.


Don't answer phone calls from these area codes

If you're getting a phone call from one of these area codes, don't answer - it's most likely a scammer.

F.A.Q.s from AZCC

  • Who will this affect? "As customers in the 480 Area Code are already completing calls via 10-digit dialing, this will only affect customers in the 602 and 623 area codes. This will not affect any other customers in any other of the Arizona area codes."
  • If I'm a customer in the 602 or 623 area code, when do I have to start dialing all 10 digits? "Beginning August 12, 2023, you must dial 10-digits (area code + telephone number) for all local calls. On and after this date, local calls dialed with only 7-digits may not be completed, and a recording will inform you that your call cannot be completed as dialed. If you get this recording, you must hang up and dial again using the area code with the 7-digit telephone number."
  • Why can't you assign the new area codes to pagers, faxes and cell phones? "The FCC will not allow a specific area code to be assigned to pagers, cellular telephones and faxes. FCC rules prohibit the assignment of telephone numbers based solely on a group's specific type of telecommunications service or the use of a particular technology."
  • Will I be charged toll rates for calls to the new area code? "No, not if the call was a local call before the new area code was introduced. Calls that are toll calls now would remain toll calls. For example, calls from Tucson to Phoenix would still be toll calls.  By law, call rates cannot be increased solely as a result of an area code split."
  • If I still have questions, who can I contact? "If you have any questions regarding this information, please call your local telephone service provider for more information. They are responsible for ensuring this dialing change goes into place. You can also contact the Commission’s Phoenix office at 602-542-4251, toll free at 1-800-222-7000 or via email at"

What does the Arizona Corporation Commission do?

The AZCC is in charge of utilities. Clark says they are working 24/7 to make sure the lights stay on, and the air conditioners don't stop running.

"When it comes off in weather like this, it's like conducting an orchestra. There's power. Different types of power that has to come on at certain periods during the day, and then they relinquish some of that power in the evening when the temperature is cool. So right now, Arizona is being treated very well by the utilities, and they're working very hard to make sure the lights stay on, and the air conditioners don't break down."