Get a 202 Area Code Phone Number Today
Washington, D.C. is unlike any place in the United States for a long list of reasons. As the nation’s capital, the District of Columbia is considered its own entity. It’s been separated from both Maryland and Virginia for more than 200 years now. As such, it has several bizarre characteristics, including its very own area code.
The 202 area code has been servicing Washington, D.C., for many decades. In most cases, area codes serve entire regions of states. Since D.C. isn’t a state, that means that it doesn’t have to share its area code. However, local residents of both the Virginia and Maryland geographic area with mobile phones are sometimes able to snag a 202 phone number depending on the carrier.
As it stands, this means that the 202 area code serves over 5 million residents within the Washington DC metro area, including over 55,000 businesses that cater to the healthcare, technology, and tourism industries. If you’re looking to join “The District” by claiming a 202 area code, then you’re going to have a lot of competition.
About the 202
The District of Columbia has been the capital of the United States since July 16, 1790. Over 23 million people visit this major city each year, making the 202 area code one of the most visited places in the United States year after year. Home to the United States’ political power and over 55,000 businesses, the roughly 68 square miles 202 area code serves entrepreneurs, politicians, and locals alike.
Washington D.C. is on Eastern time — the time zone is called EST for short. 202 is the only area code for this city as per the area code map, but it does share the prefix +1 like other US states.
The 202 area code was actually one of the initial area codes created in 1947 by AT&T as part of the North American Numbering Plan. While it’s well-known as the go-to Washington, DC area code for businesses, individuals, and politicians working in the historic city, it was also once used for numbers in the surrounding suburbs of Maryland and Virginia.
Situated along the historic Potomac River, Washington, D.C., is home to historical monuments and memorials, world-class museums, and some of the country’s best restaurants. While in the 202 area code, you’ll encounter everything from DC’s most exciting dining experience at the Michelin-starred The Inn at Little Washington and the iconic Smithsonian Museum, the United States Capitol, and the White House. It would take hours to convey all of the greatest features of D.C., but here is a list of the truly unique and incredible attractions:
- White House
- Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument
- Library of Congress and National Archives Museum
- Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
- John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
- World War II Memorial
- U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
- Vietnam and Korean War Veterans Memorials
- Arlington National Cemetery
- U.S. National Arboretum
- National Bonsai & Penjing Museum
- National Building Museum
- Eastern Market, Logan Circle, and U Street
The History of 202
What Region Does the 202 Area Code Service?
Today, it’s mostly used for Washington, DC residents, but due to a recent increase in the number porting, you’ll find that people on either side of the DC metro area have the 202 area code as well. This creates a unique situation where most of the Washington, DC, area remains a toll-free zone.
This means that while it’s great to have a 202 area code for business and personal calls from out-of-towners, locals can actually contact you by seven-digit dialing without including the area code. Residents of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, and Bethesda, for example, are all considered local when calling a 202 area code number.
Recently, the North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA) had to create a new overlay area code for D.C. The population of D.C. finally reached a point where it required more than one area code. NANPA began using area code 771 as an overlay for 202 in November 2021. The 202 area code is still in use throughout D.C., but 771 is being assigned to new numbers in the area.
How Do You Get a 202 Area Code?
Trying to get a specific area code is a little easier than you might think. You’ll actually have several options to choose from. The problem is that most of them are a bit of a long shot. You can try these options, but you’ll soon discover there’s only one guaranteed way to get a 202 area code.
Call Your Phone Service Provider
People change their phone numbers for a variety of reasons. It’s usually because they move to a new area, but it might be because of constant spam calls or trying to be rid of someone.
Whatever the reason, phone service providers are usually willing to change your number for free. It’s not a major concern for them and will make a customer happy. Just call them up, ask for a 202 area code, and they’ll do their best to oblige.
The main problem with this option is that there has to be an open number with a 202 area code. Remember that 202 has been in use since before Jackie Robinson broke the MLB color barrier.
More than 600,000 people live in D.C., with 55,000 businesses in operation and countless delegates from all around the world. The odds of a 202 area code not being in use aren’t very likely; you’ll probably end up with a 771 number instead.
Even if you are lucky enough to get the 202 area code, you’ll have a different phone number now. Your phone service provider will immediately revoke access to your current number and likely assign it to someone else.
That means that you’ll need to update all of your online accounts and tell the important people in your contact list about the change. It’s not a back-breaking amount of work, but it can be quite a hassle for you.
Buy a New Phone in D.C.
Area codes for landlines are assigned based on the address being serviced. For cell phones, it’s a little different as they’re specifically designed to be mobile. The area code for a cell number is based on where you buy the phone and set it up. It’s how you received your current number and area code. Traveling to D.C., buying a new phone, and setting it up while you’re there could result in a 202 area code.
You can probably see the problems that arise with this method. For starters, it’s way more likely that you’ll be getting a 771 area code instead. It was created for a reason and has only been around since late 2021. There are way more open 771 numbers than 202, and it’s not even close.
Another big issue is that you’ll be paying quite a bit of money just for the chance to get a 202 area code. Traveling to D.C., buying a new phone, and putting it on your service plan is likely to cost you some big money. You can expect to spend a few hundred dollars, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll even get a 202 area code.
The best-case scenario is that you are successful and get your desired new area code. That means you’ll now have two phones in your pocket. Twice the monthly bill, twice the intrusive phone calls, and two charging cords each night. When coupled with travel, it’s far from the most convenient option on this list.
Download the Burner App
The best has been saved for last — downloading Burner is the only guaranteed way to get a 202 area code. The first thing that you do when you sign up for Burner is to choose your desired area code. Once you enter 202 into the prompt window, you’ll be given a list of randomly generated telephone numbers. You pick the one that you want, and you can use it for as long as you need.
You won’t have to travel anywhere. You won’t have to buy another phone. You won’t have to lose your current number. You’ll simply have two phone numbers with your current device.
Anytime someone calls or texts your 202 number, it will be rerouted through Burner and transferred to your phone. You can “burn” the number at any time for another or cancel service if you no longer need a second number. It doesn’t get much more convenient than that.
The 202 area code has been the primary area code for Washington, D.C. for nearly 75 years. Some of the most powerful people in the world’s history had phone numbers with a 202 area code. It’s just as iconic in Washington, D.C., as any of the memorials, landmarks, or museums. Area code 202 instantly gives you the legitimacy that a Washington, D.C. phone number deserves.
You have a few options for getting a 202 area code, but the only way to guarantee it is to use the Burner app. Calling your phone service provider or buying a phone in D.C. will almost certainly get you a 771 area code instead. If you did somehow get a 202 number using either method, then you’ll still have to deal with the consequences. A new number is a headache and buying a new phone is expensive.
There are no such consequences with Burner. You can get a new number whenever you need to and cancel your service at any time. Visit Burner today to learn more and set up your account. It will only take you a few minutes to share an area code with some of the most important people in the history of the United States.
- 26 Best Things to Do in Washington, D.C. | U.S. News Travel
- FAQ | statehood
- Moving Without Changing Your Cellphone Number: A Predicament for Pollsters | Pew Research Center Methods
- The District of Columbia has a new overlayarea code: 771 | DCPSC
- 202 Area Code | All Area Codes
- Washington D.C., Became the Capital | America's Library