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Learn Your Community Resource Codes

Most people are familiar with dialing 911, but some may not be aware of the seven other “N11” codes. N11 is a three-digit shortcut to reach special community resources. The numbers are set aside by the Federal Communications Commission and operated by the community service provider. For example, the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) operates the 511 service describing road and traffic conditions.

The following N11 codes are available for Iowans to use:

  • 211 | Community information and referral services, including food, shelters, clothes, health insurance programs, support groups, counseling, financial assistance, meal services, child care, legal services, etc. There are 2-1-1 call centers serving all 99 counties in Iowa.
  • 311 | Nonemergency police, fire and municipal business. Local and municipal governments administer 311 calls.
  • 411 | Local telephone directory assistance. Landline 4-1-1 service is provided by local telephone companies. Wireless services are provided by your wireless phone carrier. Some telephone companies and wireless carriers charge for this service.
  • 511 | Travel information, including the status of roadway construction, accidents, detours and winter road conditions. Iowa information is provided by the Iowa DOT. 511 services are available in most other states. The information you receive is based on the location from where you are calling. 511 is the abbreviated number for 800-288-1047 (available nationwide).
  • 611 | For customers of some telephone companies, 611 is used to report a problem with telephone service. Many wireless phone providers also use 611 as a general customer service access number.
  • 711 | The Telecommunications Relay Service that allows people who are deaf, hard-of-hearing or speech-disabled to place calls to standard telephone users via a keyboard or other assistive device.
  • 811 | This “Call Before You Dig” number arranges for utilities to be located and marked, preventing damage that can interrupt service and place the public at risk.
  • 911 | Emergency response
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