Area codes in the Caribbean

The development of the telephone area codes in the Caribbean began with the expansion of the North American Numbering Plan in 1958 with the assignment of area code 809 for Bermuda and most of the Caribbean islands.

From 1958 to 1999, most of the British West Indies in the Caribbean Basin, Bermuda, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico shared a single area code. By the mid-1990s, with the proliferation of fax machines, mobile phones, computers, and pagers in the region, the pool of available central office codes was exhausting. Beginning with Bermuda in November 1994, and The Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and Barbados in 1995, several countries in the Caribbean received individual area code assignments from the NANPA, effectively splitting area code 809. By 1999, it was retained only by the Dominican Republic, following the departure of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines from using the area code.[1]


The NANP area codes (black) and country codes (red) of the Caribbean islands
Territory Area code Year of Assignment
Anguilla 264 1996
Antigua and Barbuda 268 1996
The Bahamas 242 1995
Barbados 246 1995
Bermuda 441 1994
The British Virgin Islands 284 1996
The Cayman Islands 345 1996
The Commonwealth of Dominica 767 1996
The Dominican Republic 809, 929, 849 1958, 2005, 2009
Grenada 473 1996
Jamaica 876, 658[2] 1996, 2018
The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands 670 1996
Montserrat 664 1996
Puerto Rico 787, 939 1995, 2000
Saint Kitts and Nevis 869 1996
Saint Lucia 758 1996
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 784 1997
Sint Maarten 721 2009
Trinidad and Tobago 868 1996
The Turks and Caicos Islands 649 1997
The U.S. Virgin Islands 340 1997

Sint Maarten was part of the Netherlands Antilles until dissolution in 2010. It is a constituent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Sint Maarten used the country code +599 of the Netherlands Antilles until joining the NANP on September 30, 2011, with area code 721.[3]

Former assignments within 809

The following was the 1958-1995 numbering plan for 809. Starting in the 1980s, Puerto Rico, Bermuda and the Dominican Republic began to use prefixes from unused ranges throughout the 2xx to 9xx range. Historic (1960s-mid-1980s) ranges are shown in parentheses.

The number pool of the area code was divided between the regions by the national number, which was from two to four digits long, leaving five to three digits, respectively, of the total of 10 digits of a complete telephone number for local telephone number assignments. The national number appeared in local telephone directories.

Caribbean nations with a larger numbering resource requirement used seven-digit dialing, and had no need for a national number.

Non-NANP jurisdictions (i.e., the rest of the world) identified a Caribbean calling destination by analyzing the first six digits dialed (1809xx), therefore, faced the difficulty where a seventh digit was required to identify the specific nation. Rates based on destination would have to be the same for all destinations sharing the same six digits, e.g., St. Lucia and St. Vincent would have to be the same rate; Anguilla, British Virgin Islands and Montserrat would need to be the same rate; Antigua, Barbuda, Nevis and St. Kitts also would have to be the same rate. Since Cable and Wireless was the provider in most or all cases, the same corporate entity benefited from the revenue for incoming calls. The assignment of new area codes after 1994 resolved this since only the first four digits would be required to distinguish each country.

territory number form notes
Anguilla 809-497-xxxx (National number 4972, then expanded to four digit local numbers as N.N. 497)
Antigua and Barbuda 809-46x-xxxx (National number 46)
The Bahamas 809-32x-xxxx
Barbados 809-42x-xxxx
(National number 43, then changed to 7D, as 42 or 43)
Bermuda 809-xxx-xxxx (National number 29, then changed to 7D, as 23 or 29)
British Virgin Islands 809-49x-xxxx (National number 49)
Carriacou 809-44x-xxxx
The Cayman Islands 809-94x-xxxx (National number 94)
The Commonwealth of Dominica 809-44x-xxxx (National number 44 shared with Grenada)
The Dominican Republic 809-5xx-xxxx
Grenada 809-44x-xxxx (National number 44 shared with Dominica)
Jamaica 809-9xx-xxxx (began with 9, other than 94x)
Montserrat 809-491-xxxx (National number 491)
Puerto Rico 809-7xx-xxxx
Saint Kitts and Nevis 809-465-xxxx (National numbers 465 for St. Kitts, 469 for Nevis)
Saint Lucia 809-45x-xxxx (National number 45 shared with St Vincent)
Saint Vincent 809-45x-xxxx (National number 45 shared with St. Lucia)
Trinidad and Tobago 809-6xx-xxxx (began with 6, other than 68)
Turks and Caicos Islands 809-946-xxxx (National number 946)
The U.S. Virgin Islands 809-77x-xxxx
Numbering prefix Remaining digit quantity Country
29 five Bermuda
3 seven The Bahamas
4 seven Barbados
44 five The Commonwealth of Dominica
44 five Grenada
45 five Saint Lucia
45 five Saint Vincent
46 five Antigua and Barbuda
465 four Saint Kitts
469 four Nevis
491 four Montserrat
497 four Anguilla (started as 4972 + three)
49 five British Virgin Islands
5 seven The Dominican Republic
68 seven The Dominican Republic
6 seven Trinidad and Tobago
77 seven The U.S. Virgin Islands
7 seven Puerto Rico
8 seven Puerto Rico
946 four The Turks and Caicos Islands
94 five The Cayman Islands
9 seven Jamaica

In chart above, digits in italics were just the initial digit(s) of seven-digit number dialing.

Sint Maarten was part of +599 until long after 809 was totally divided into individual area codes.

Source for above info: Incumbent provider Cable and Wireless Telephone-directory from Barbados of 1994-1995.

Other territories

Not all of the Caribbean islands are members of the North American Numbering Plan. The following countries have country codes assigned by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

territory code
Aruba +297
Haiti +509
Cuba +53
Guadeloupe +590
Saint Barthélemy
Saint Martin
Martinique +596
Caribbean Netherlands +599

See also


  1. ^ NANPA Planning Letter No. PL-NANP-103 (1997-11-21)
  2. ^ http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Jamaica_gets_additional_area_code_658
  3. ^ "PL-423: Updated Information - Introduction of NPA 721 (Sint Maarten)" (PDF). North American Numbering Plan Administration. 2011-07-23. Retrieved 2011-10-01.

External links

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