In August 2019 dialing Mexican telephone numbers became simpler. This article describes those changes and also answers additional questions about how to dial telephone numbers to and from Mexico including cell phones, landlines and toll-free service numbers.
Service prefixes are no longer required
The fundamental change to the telephone dialing rules that took effect in August 2019 is the removal of service code prefixes associated with calling domestic long distance numbers (01) and calling Mexican cell phones from Mexican land lines (044, 045). Also, the confusing need to add the number ‘1’ when calling a Mexican cell phone from overseas was also eliminated. The changes can be summed-up thus:
- When calling from within Mexico, the dialing prefixes of 01, 044, and 045 are no longer required.
- When calling a Mexican cell phone from outside Mexico, the additional number ‘1’ after Mexico’s country code is no longer required.
These changes greatly simplify the way that Mexican land lines and cell phones are dialed and bring Mexico’s telephone dialing rules into line with protocols used in the US and Canada.
Calling from/to Mexican land lines
Here are the rules for dialing from and to Mexican land lines:
Calling a Mexican land line from a Mexican land line in the same area: Dial the area code (2 or 3 digits) and then then local number (7 or 8 digits, depending on the town/city).
Calling a Mexican land line from a Mexican land line in a different area. Dial the area code and the number. Do not dial the old 01 (long distance) prefix.
Calling a Mexican land line from a Mexican cell phone: Dial the area code and the number directly from your cellphone. Do not dial the old 01 (long distance) prefix.
Calling a Mexican cell phone from a Mexican land line: Dial the cell phone’s area code and number directly. Do not use the old 044 or 045 prefix.
Calling to/from Mexican cell phones
Here are the rules for dialing from and to Mexican cell phones
Calling a Mexican cell phone from another Mexican cell phone while in Mexico: Dial the other cell phone’s area code and number. Do not include the old 044 or 045 in the code.
Calling a Mexican cell phone from overseas: Dial Mexico’s country code (+52) then the area code, and then the number. Do not include the ‘1’ after the +52, as was required before August 2019.
Calling any number in Mexico from a Mexican cell phone overseas (roaming): Dial Mexico’s international code +52, then the area code, and then the number. Do not include the ‘1’ after the +52.
Calling from your non-Mexican (roaming) cell phone: If you are carrying a non-Mexican phone in Mexico and you want to place a call, dial the “+” then the country code (for Mexico this is “52” and for the US and Canada this is “1”), then the area code and number. Ignore 00 and 044/045, etc. Check your service plan for call rates. Inbound and outbound calls to Mexico from European phones are particularly expensive; costs for US/Canadian plans will depend on the call plan you signed up to. It’s often better to use Facetime, WhatsApp or some other voice-over-internet App to make international calls to people you know.
Calling internationally from your Mexican land line, mobile/cell phone
To place an international call from Mexico you need to dial the international access code, then the area code and number. The international access code is slightly different for land lines and mobile/cell phones, thus:
Making an international call from a Mexican land line: If you want to dial an international number from your Mexican land line, dial the international access code which is “00”, then the area code, then the number.
Making an international call from a mobile/cell phone: Regardless of whether your cell phone is operating using a Mexican plan/operator or a non-Mexican plan/operator, to dial internationally you have to enter the “+” sign (press and hold the number zero for a moment on your smartphone’s screen dial pad) then the country code (for the US and Canada this is “1”), then the area code and number. Do not dial 00 (as you do from a land line) because this doesn’t work from a mobile/cell phone.
Calling a Mexican landline or a Mexican cell phone from your non-Mexican mobile/cell phone: If you are in Mexico and using a non-Mexican mobile/cell phone (roaming), and you want to dial a Mexican cell phone or landline, you must enter the “+” sign (press and hold the number zero for a moment) then the country code for Mexico which is 52, and then the area code and number, e.g. +52 123 1234567.
Calling Mexican toll-free (800) and premium toll (900) numbers
Whether you are calling from a Mexican land line or from a Mexican cell phone, drop the old 01 prefix. Thus the old format, 01-800-123-4567, becomes simply: 800-123-4567.
Calling a toll-free number OUTSIDE of Mexico
Many toll-free numbers based in the US, Canada, and elsewhere might or might not connect from a Mexican cell phone or a Mexican landline: it depends on whether the company allows (and will pay) for international calls to connect through that number. The might or might not connect if you are roaming with a cellphone from your home country, but beware of charges—it might not be ‘toll free’ for you when you are roaming, check with your service provider.
If you need to call a company or organization abroad and the toll-free number they advertise won’t connect from your cell phone or Mexican landline, consider these alternatives:
- If they advertise a regular number, try calling that; if you are calling the US or Canada from a Mexican cell phone, the call will probably be included in your plan fee (no additional charge); or
- Call the regular number from a landline in Mexico—calls to most countries, including the US, Canada and Europe are included in the landline monthly plan fee; or
- If you must call a toll-free number, use Skype or a similar service like Google Voice to make your call.
Storing numbers in your Mexican cell phone
If you roam between Mexico, the US and Canada, we recommend that you store all of your contact numbers using the international dialing format: [country code] [area code] [number].
Thus your Mexican contacts will be recorded with the +52 prefix before the area code and number, your American and Canadian contacts with the +1 prefix before the area code and number.
By doing this, your calls will connect without need for you to make adjustments regardless of whether you are in Mexico or roaming in the US or Canada. To add the “+” sign to any contact, press and briefly hold the number zero on your smartphone’s screen dial pad.
How to keep in touch when you’re in Mexico
You can learn more about how to keep in touch with friends, family, and work contacts by connecting to our comprehensive Guide to Communications in Mexico.
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Banks and other services in Mexico use SMS text messaging to authentic users and require a ten-digit Mexican mobile phone number. Their online services also only allow a ten-digit number in those form data fields.
That would require obtaining a Mexican mobile number. You would accomplish that by getting a SIM card from a company like Telcel (the most recommended for coverage) for your existing mobile phone.
Many new mobile phones allow for dual SIM cards (in most cases, one is a virtual SIM card, usually your U.S. provider, and the other, usually the Mexican provider, a physical SIM card).
So, you would want to convert your physical U.S. SIM to virtual first. Then uses the physical SIM slot for the Telcel SIM.
I have a newer iPhone (older models do not support this). See – Apple support – https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT209044.
You may need to start with a prepaid month-to-month plan. But, I will probably want a permanent Mexican mobile number, eventually, especially for banking. It is a bit of a Catch-22 situation as you need a bank account for a permanent mobile contract but needs the mobile number for a bank account. I have not gotten that far yet. I still need to get my residence paperwork and proper ID for Mexico yet.
This information might already be somewhere on mexperience.com. I was not able to find it.
I hope someone finds this helpful. So, your homework or that one additional task to do is virtualize you SIM card.
I am moving to Mexico so can I use my Canadian cordless landline phone in my home in Mexico?
It depends. Most landline telephones these days connect into the modem that gives internet to the home… and those phones are different to the old phones that connected into to the telephone-only service wall plug.
Could someone please tell me how to call a Mexican 800 number from the U.S. using a (U.S.) cell phone? Thanks! I’ve tried every possibility I could think of but haven’t been able to get through.
To call a 1-800 number in the US from Mexico (Tested with Mexican cell phone from movistar).
Dial +1 800 xxx-xxxx
It is that simple. The 880 code etc… doesn’t work any more. But Jan 2021 I just got off the phone with a US 1-800.
I tried those instructions and still the call doesn’t go through, either sounds busy or the message says that it was wrongly dialed
Me too, Irma. I have Telcel and everything in the message is in Spanish, so I have no idea what’s going on. I’m trying to reach Capital One.
I have never successfully called US 800 numbers from my US cell when I am in Mexico. That conversion chart like this 880 for an 800 number did not work. I am going again, do I need to get a Magic Jack or something better?
Regarding your comment about inability to call US 800 numbers from MX, there is a simple solution.
Sign up for a free Google Voice (USA) number (you can select the state/city) for the number.
Using the Google Voice app, you can dial any US 8xx type phone number by simply using the international dialing convention for a
US number: +1-8xx-yyy-zzzz.
I have used this method for the past 4 years without any issues.
How can I dial a hotel in Oaxaca….have the number……..from the US?
I’d say get google voice if you have a gmail account. I have T-Mobile and I can call US 800 numbers now. Back when it was Sprint, I wasn’t able to. I can also call Mexican 800 numbers while I’m the US.
can you tell me whats a Magic Jack
Can someone tell me what’s a magic Jack and how does it work because I have a house in the United States that I need to rent but if someone sees that I have a Mexican number *living in temporally in Mexico* there probole not gonna call that number. Need help
Can I do call forwarding from Mexico-Telemex landline to my US Cell iPhone. If so, how do I do it?
I am using my Telcel plan while I am in Canada. Do my Canadian friends have to dial as described here? Calling a Mexican cell phone from overseas: Dial Mexico’s country code (+52) then the area code, and then the number.
Hi Gordon, if you have a Mexican cell phone in Canada or the USA, anyone wishing to call you by regaulr telephone needs to dial +52 from a cellphone (or from a landline 0052), then your area code and number. To get the + sign on a cellphone, press and hold the number 0 for a second or two.
I have a Consumer Cellular Phone and am going to Mexico. If I want to call the United States, can I do that just using my regular cell phone?
I have a us cell. How do I connect with a Mexican landline while in Mexico?
When you’re using any non-Mexican cell phone and you want to dial a Mexican cell phone or landline, you have to enter the “+” sign (press and hold the number zero for a moment) then the country code for Mexico which is 52, and then the area code and number, e.g. +52 123 1234567.
Hi Irma, if that is not working, then we suggest that you contact your cellular telephony provider for assistance.
No, just use your cell as you normally do. Restart it when you get into Mexico, and that’s it.
how do I call my US cell from a Mexican line line?
To call the US or Canada from a *Mexican Land-line* you dial “00” then 1, then – area code – number.
To call outside of Mexico from a *Mobile Phone* you dial “+” (press and hold the zero for a moment) then the country code (for US/CDN this is 1) and then the area code and number.
If you’re calling from a cell phone +1 area code and phone number. If from a land line, 001 plus area code and phone number Example 001 805 999-9999
I was told you could call Canada for free from Mexico on a landline in Mexico.
Hi Patricia, you can call ‘free’ to Canada from your Mexican land line. All the major telco players (Telmex, Izzi, etc.) offer cost-free telephone calls to most countries in the world as part of the monthly package fee. This is for residential lines and there is a fair-use limit in the small print (to prevent abuse).
It is true, and many more countries.
Hi, I bought a Mexican Telcel cellphone with the amigos sin limites package. It works in Canada and the US, but it doesn’t roam. Every time I get to a new place, I need to go in and ask the phone to locate the best network, and connect. Does anyone else have that experience? Is it normal? Thanks.
so when in the united states how do i go about calling mexico with my mexican phone? and can i call while in the us u.s. phone numbers with my mexican phone?
Yes, you can dial US numbers from your Mexican cell phone while roaming in the USA. You need dial +1, then the US area code, followed by the number.
Dear Mexperience folks, I am a little unclear on using my USA t-mobile cell phone within Mexico to call Mexican numbers. I drop the 01 or 011 prefixes and 044 prefixes? Just use 52 plus area code plus number, right?
Hi Doug, this will depend on how your carrier has it set-up for roaming; but to ensure calls from non-Mexican mobiles connect to Mexican numbers, you would dial +52 (Mexico’s country code) then the area code and the number. You *don’t* add the 01/011 or 044/045 prefixes. Check with your mobile provider about roaming use, and also call charges when roaming as these tend to vary depending on the provider and plan you are using.
Using Skype to call toll free numbers in any country works.
What about Mexican cell numbers already stored in your phone with the 1 after the 52? Does it need to be deleted or will it still work fine?
You’ll need to edit any numbers that contain the additional number ‘1’ after the +52 country code, and remove the additional ‘1’ in order for those numbers to work after August 3, 2019.
Thank you, will do.
I use this technique to call US toll-free numbers, from Mexico, on from my US (T-Mobile) cell phone. I pay “per-minute” for the call, but it helps in those cases where the called number does not accept international calls.
Dial +1 plus:
880 for an 800 number,
881 for an 888 number,
882 for an 877 number,
883 for all 866 number,
884 for all 855 number
the seven-digit telephone number
I just started bough the 1-800 mystery last wek and w told by a T-mobile assistant ( dial 611) that I can dial any 800 number m m T-mobile I phone.
Thank-you Steve, and Claudia (below), for this information. Do either of you (or any other readers, or the host) happen to know, the best way to call a Canadian 855 toll free number, from Melaque? Is it the same as Steve’s listing above? I am on the Virgin Mobile network. I keep two phones when in Mexico – one that retains my Canada cell phone service, and a second for calls using a Mexican sim card.
Thank-you in advance.
What about calling from Mexico, on. A cell phone, to 800 numbers in the US
Dialing to 800 numbers in the US from a Mexican cell phone depends on whether the Mexican cell phone carrier allows this within the plan you have and whether the 800 number in the US/Canada accepts international calls.
On your answer to Victorine, but if your Mexican cell phone carrier allows and the 800 US/Canada accepts, how do you dial it???