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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