Springfield, Champaign-Urbana, Decatur and Jacksonville are among the communities covered by the 217 area code. But there's a new one coming to town. Starting early next year, those seeking new numbers might instead be given the area code 447. That's a notable change, considering 217 was an original area code, first entering circulation in 1947. The 447 number is considered an "overlay" – and will begin to be assigned in March. Those with 217 numbers will keep them. But gone will be the simplicity of dialing a shortened phone number. "Beginning Feb. 27, 2021, mandatory dialing will occur where all local calls made within the Illinois 217 area code will have to be placed using the 10-digit telephone number (area code + the 7-digit telephone number)," according to a recent release from the Illinois Commerce Commission. Business stationery, personal checks and other forms of identification should include the area code. While an area code will be required to place calls, the cost of local calls will remain the same.