Detroit — The 313 needs backup.
Introducing the 679.
Detroit, Downriver, the Grosse Pointes and other surrounding Wayne County suburbs could soon be in need of a new telephone area code. All of the 313 phone numbers are expected to be in use by the third quarter of 2025, the Michigan Public Service Commission announced Thursday.
The state’s utilities regulator has scheduled a public hearing in March to discuss adding a 679 overlay area code to Detroit, its enclaves — Hamtramck and Highland Park — and the suburbs of Allen Park, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Ecorse, the Grosse Pointes, Inkster, Lincoln Park, Redford Township, River Rouge and Taylor.
The proposed 679 area code would overlay Detroit and those surrounding first-ring suburbs that have had the 313 area code since 1947. This means if you already had a 313 number, you wouldn’t lose it. Only new customers in the area would be assigned numbers with a 679 area code.
The 313 area code has become a symbol of pride for Detroit. It’s a part of the vernacular and is printed on T-shirts, bags and other merchandise.
March 13 is marked as a celebration of Detroit and its impact on food, music, movies and more.
Entrepreneurs have named their businesses for the area code. Campaigns focused on inclusion and increasing opportunities for Detroiters have embraced it.
Patrick Ayoub, the owner of the Detroit Watch Co. in Birmingham, said it was a “no-brainer” to name one of his watches inspired by the look of a rotary phone after the 313 area code. Its popularity inspired a city collection with similar products with area codes for other major cities like New York City and Toronto as well.
“People use it as they’re from ‘the 313,’” Ayoub said. “It’s literally the representation of Detroit itself. People buy it in Detroit and Metro Detroit, but also Detroiters and Michiganders who have moved away. It’s very special for them to buy it. It’s ‘I am from Detroit, or originally from Detroit.’ There’s a connection.”
More:March 13 is 313 days. Go back in time with these Detroit photos
679 was proposed before
The North American Numbering Plan Administrator, who is responsible for administering telephone numbering plans in the United States, Canada and several Caribbean countries, filed a petition in November to introduce a new 679 area code to Detroit.
The 313 area code has already been split twice, once in 1993 to create the 810 area code for the Brighton, Flint and Port Huron areas and again in 1997 to create the 734 area code for the western Wayne County suburbs and Washtenaw and Monroe counties.
The addition of the 679 area code would require callers to dial area codes when making local calls to 313 or 679 numbers, the public service commission said. The change wouldn’t affect customers’ bills.
Adding another area code also would require some devices, such as auto-dialing equipment, medical devices and home security systems, to be reprogrammed if they only are set to dial seven digits, the MPSC said.
The NANPA first tried to introduce the 679 area code overlay plan in 2000, but its implementation was delayed after federal number policy changes and numbering conservation efforts, the Public Service Commission said.
In its petition, the NANPA said customer education, dialing plan best practices and technical milestones have all changed since 2000 and asked the commission to update the old plan, which was approved in 2001.
The public hearing to discuss the overlaying 679 area code will be held from 1:30 pm to 3 pm on March 9 at Wayne County Community College District’s downtown campus, 1001 W. Fort St., in the Frank Hayden Community Room No. 236.
The public can submit written comments on the overlay plan to the MPSC by mailing them to PO Box 30221, Lansing, MI 48909, or emailing them to email@example.com. All written comments should reference case No. U-21337, the commission said.
‘313 is more than an area code’
Adding a new area code could put some organizations, especially those focused on inclusion and expanding opportunities, in a difficult spot.
Venture 313, for example, is a platform for billionaire businessman Dan Gilbert’s family foundation to encourage entrepreneurship in the city.
James Feagin, director of economic mobility for the foundation and founder of Venture 313, said in a statement it will continue doing its work supporting business owners as is, “regardless of what their phone number may be in the future.”
“313 is more than an area code,” Feagin said. “It’s an identity. Detroiters have a long history of maintaining our connection to pieces of this city long after names and numbers have been changed. If anything, this will make our connection even stronger.”
Some people don’t know what to think about the proposal yet.
Chris Reynolds, owner of the Detroit Life apparel shop in the Mall at Partridge Creek in Clinton Township, has been working on some new designs with “313” and “the original 313” on them.
“That’d be crazy,” Reynolds said about the planned 679 area code.
But he’s optimistic Detroit won’t lose its 313 identity.
“It’s representing the best city in the world, in my opinion,” Reynolds said. “313 is always going to be Detroit. It’s known across the whole United States and worldwide.”
He would know. He said he ships “313” shirts as far away as Europe, Madagascar and Iran.
Could he imagine adding some “679” swag to the mix?
“As of today, no way,” Reynolds said. “Absolutely not.”