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North American Numbering Plan

The North American Numbering Plan (NANP) is a telephone numbering plan that encompasses 25 distinct regions in twenty countries primarily in North America, including the Caribbean and the U.S. territories. Not all North American countries participate in the NANP.

The NANP was originally devised in the 1940s by AT&T for the Bell System and independent telephone operators in North America, to unify the diverse local numbering plans that had been established in the preceding decades. AT&T continued to administer the numbering plan until the breakup of the Bell System when administration was delegated to the North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA), a service that has been procured from the private sector by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States. Each participating country forms a regulatory authority that has plenary control over local numbering resources. The FCC also serves as the U.S. regulator. Canadian numbering decisions are made by the Canadian Numbering Administration Consortium.

The NANP divides the territories of its members into numbering plan areas (NPAs) which are encoded numerically with a three-digit telephone number prefix, commonly called the area code. Each telephone is assigned a seven-digit telephone number unique only within its respective plan area. The telephone number consists of a three-digit central office code and a four-digit station number. The combination of an area code and the telephone number serves as a destination routing address in the public switched telephone network (PSTN). For international call routing, the NANP has been assigned the international calling code 1 by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The North American Numbering Plan conforms with ITU Recommendation E.164, which establishes an international numbering framework.

Component Name Number ranges Notes
NPA Numbering Plan Area Code Allowed ranges: [2–9] for the first digit, and [0-9] for the second and third digits. When the second and third digits of an area code are the same, that code is called an easily recognizable code (ERC). ERCs designate special services; e.g., 888 for toll-free service. The NANP is not assigning area codes with 9 as the second digit. Covers Canada, the United States, parts of the Caribbean Sea, and some Atlantic and Pacific islands. The area code is often enclosed in parentheses.
NXX Central Office (exchange) code Allowed ranges: [2–9] for the first digit, and [0–9] for both the second and third digits (however, in geographic area codes the third digit of the exchange cannot be 1 if the second digit is also 1). Often considered part of a subscriber number. The three-digit Central Office codes are assigned to a specific CO serving its customers, but may be physically dispersed by redirection, or forwarding to mobile operators and other services.
xxxx Subscriber Number [0–9] for each of the four digits. This unique four-digit number is the subscriber number or station code.
Bermuda before 1995: +1 809 29x xxxx since 1995: +1 441 xxx xxxx
Puerto Rico before 1996: +1 809 xxx xxxx, 1996-2001: +1 787 xxx xxxx since 2001: +1 787 xxx xxxx or +1 939 xxx xxxx (overlay for entire island)
U.S. Virgin Islands before 1997: +1 809 xxx xxxx since 1997: +1 340 xxx xxxx
Northern Marianas before 1997: +670 xxx xxxx since 1997: +1 670 xxx xxxx
Guam before 1997: +671 xxx xxxx since 1997: +1 671 xxx xxxx
American Samoa before October 1, 2004: +684 xxx xxxx since 2004: +1 684 xxx xxxx
Sint Maarten before September 30, 2011: +599 5xx xxxx since 2011: +1 721 xxx xxxx
Country/Territory Area codes Letter code
 American Samoa 684
 Anguilla 264 ANG
 Antigua and Barbuda 268 ANT
 Bahamas 242 BHA
 Barbados 246 BIM
 Bermuda 441
 British Virgin Islands 284 BVI
 Canada 204, 226, ... 905
 Cayman Islands 345
 Dominica 767 ROS (Roseau)
 Dominican Republic 809, 829, 849
 Grenada 473 GRE
 Guam 671
 Jamaica 876
 Montserrat 664
 Northern Mariana Islands 670
 Puerto Rico 787, 939 PUR(787)
 Saint Kitts and Nevis 869
 Saint Lucia 758 SLU
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 784 SVG
 Sint Maarten 721
 Trinidad and Tobago 868 TNT
 Turks and Caicos Islands 649
 United States 201, 202, ... 989
 United States Virgin Islands 340
Local within area code Local outside area code Toll within area code Toll outside area code
Single code area, with toll alerting 7D 7D or 10D 1+10D 1+10D
Single code area, without toll alerting 7D 1+10D 7D or 1+10D 1+10D
Overlaid area, with toll alerting 10D 10D 1+10D 1+10D
Overlaid area, without toll alerting 10D or 1+10D 1+10D 10D or 1+10D 1+10D
digit letters
Letters of the alphabet are mapped to the digits of the telephone dial pad.
7 P(Q)RS
9 WXY(Z)

  • NXX may begin only with the digits [2–9], providing a base of 8 million numbers: (8 × 100 × 10000) .
  • However, the last two digits of NXX cannot both be 1, to avoid confusion with the N11 codes.
  • Despite the widespread usage of NXX 555 for fictional telephone numbers — see 555 (telephone number) — today, the only such numbers now specifically reserved for fictional use are 555-0100 through 555-0199, with the remaining 555 numbers released for actual assignment as information numbers (subtract 100).
  • In individual geographic area codes, several other NXX prefixes are generally not assigned: the home area code(s), adjacent domestic area codes and overlays, area codes reserved for future relief nearby, industry testing codes (generally NXX 958 and 959) and special service codes (such as NXX 950 and 976).
  • 7-digit dialing: NXX xxxx (NPA code not required)
  • 10-digit dialing: NPA NXX xxxx
  • 11-digit dialing: 1 NPA NXX xxxx (1 is the NANP trunk prefix for long distance circuits).
  • 0 – Operator assistance
  • 00 – Long-distance operator assistance (formerly 2-1-1)
  • 011 – International access code using direct dial (for all destinations outside the NANP).
  • 01 – International access code using operator assistance (for all destinations outside the NANP).
  • 101-xxxx – Used to select use of an alternative long-distance carrier
  • 211 – Local community information or social services (in some cities)
  • 311 – City government or non-emergency police matters
  • 411 – Local telephone directory service (Some telephone companies provide national directory assistance)
  • 511 – Traffic, road, and tourist information
  • 611 – Telephone line repair service (formerly 4104), wireless operator customer service (formerly 811).
  • 711 – Relay service for customers with hearing or speech disabilities.
  • 811Dig safe pipe/cable location in the United States, non-urgent telehealth/teletriage services in Canada (formerly telephone company business office)
  • 911Emergency telephone number – fire department, medical emergency, police.
  • 950-xxxx – Feature group code for access to a carrier from a non-subscriber location. The feature requires the customer dial a 950-xxxx number and enter a calling card number and destination telephone number. It was originally used for locations where 101-xxxx dialing was not possible.
  • 958-xxxx (local); 959-xxxx (long distance) – Plant test numbers, such as automatic number announcement circuits. It was once common to reserve entire unused exchange prefixes or N11 numbers (4101 was ringback on many step-by-step switches), but these have largely moved to individual unpublished numbers within the standard 958-xxxx (local) or 959-xxxx (long-distance) plant test exchanges as numbers become scarce.
  • 1-NPA-555-1212 – Non-local directory information (Canada and United States)
  • *51 and 1151: A history of unanswered calls on a telephone number, useful for those who are not Caller ID subscribers.
  • *57 and 1157: Used to trace harassing, threatening, abusive, obscene, etc. phone calls, and keep results of trace at phone company.
  • *66 and 1166: To keep retrying a busy-line (see also Called-party camp-on)
  • *67 and 1167: Caller ID Block
  • *69 and 1169: Call Return caller may press '1' to return call after hearing number
  • *70 and 1170: Cancel call waiting on a call-by-call basis
  • *71 and 1171: Three-way calling, which lets a person talk to people in two different locations at the same time.
  • *74 and 1174: Speed dial, which allows someone to quickly dial any of eight frequently called numbers using a one-digit code, from any phone on their line.
  • *75 allows a total of 30 speed-call numbers with two digits.
  • *82 and 1182: Releases Caller ID block on a call-by-call basis


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