My Phone Number

Why do you need a local 10-digit phone number if you already have a personal 800 number?

Video relay service (VRS) is always improving to make telephone communication more accessible for deaf and hard of hearing people. Before, callers were discouraged from making 911 calls through VRS, but that has changed. The FCC now requires that 10-digit local numbers must be assigned to all videophones to assist video interpreters (VIs) and emergency response center staff in processing 911 VRS calls

For your everyday needs, you may continue to give your personal 800 number to anyone who needs to call you, just like you have in the past. However, you must also have a local 10-digit number assigned to your videophone, as well, to help identify the location of 911 emergency calls. This local number is stored inside your videophone and will appear as caller ID to the VI.

If your videophone has only an 800 number, there is no way to determine the location of your call, because 800 numbers are used nationwide. A local 10-digit number, however, has an area code and prefix that identifies more specifically the area in which you live, making it easier to determine the closest emergency response center to notify.

Please keep in mind that, when placing a 911 emergency call through VRS, you will still need to provide the address of your location to the video interpreter to confirm the address on file is correct.

For more information on placing 911 calls through VRS, go to