Bet You Didn't Know......

Tampa-Hillsborough to get a new area code. Say hello to the 656.

For nearly seven decades, 813 has been synonymous with Hillsborough County. But future growth demands a second area code.



The Public Service Commission has announced that Hillsborough County will receive a new area code to replace the soon-to-be depleted 813. The new area code is 656. [ PAUL ALEXANDER | Tampa Bay Times ]

By Jamal Thalji

Published May 8, 2020

Updated May 9, 2020

Long before Miami rapper Pitbull became “Mr. 305,” all of Florida was the 305. It was one of the nation’s first area codes created in 1947 and covered the entire state.

Florida kept growing, as Florida tends to do, and so a new area code was needed: 813.

It was the state’s second area code when it was created in 1953, covering Tampa Bay and all of west-central Florida. New area codes came online, but for 67 years the Tampa-Hillsborough area has been synonymous with 813.

But we’re running out of 813 numbers. That’s why it’s time for Tampa Bay to memorize three new digits: 656.

That is the new area code that will be issued across Hillsborough County in the coming years, the Public Service Commission announced on Thursday, replacing the nearly depleted supply of 813 phone numbers.

Those who already have an 813 area code can keep theirs. But 81