The 805 will be joined by a second area code — 820 — officially starting in June 2018. Not since 1999 has the area that includes Santa Barbara County been issued a new telephone code — that’s when 661 began to be used for areas to the east and south. With the 805 prefix forecast to be running out of unique numbers by December 2018, California’s Public Utilities Commission has decided that existing telephone numbers will retain their 805 area code; new customers will receive the new number starting a year from now, giving the geographic region between Monterey and Ventura two area codes.
The PUC assumes a year’s time will be long enough for commercial and residential customers to update their phone number information. When dialing, the three digits can be added to any number by this November, an addition that becomes mandatory in May 2018.
Historically, the mid-California area had been covered by the 213 area code — now solely for Los Angeles — until 1957, when the 805 was created. More information can be found at cpuc.ca.gov/805areacode.