Companies of different stripes and areas of coverage still use fax in this age of light-speed internet and express delivery.

They do so because it’s still the safest means of sending classified files, which is why legal and healthcare firms use it.

While some have fax machines, others depend on online services to send and receive documents.

Whichever option you choose, you need a dedicated number.

But what is a fax number? Is it the same as your regular phone number?

In this article, we’ll answer your questions about fax digits and show you how to get one for your business.

What is a fax number?

A fax number is a phone line used to send documents to another device or digital solution.

Fax digits differ in length, but they work like phone numbers.

They use audible tones to enable the transfer of documents.

The only difference is that you get a tone response when you dial a fax number.

How does a fax number work?

Usually, the phone company or online faxing provider issues numbers to users, ensuring that the files get to the right destination.

With that number, you can send or receive documents locally and internationally.

The length of numbers depends on the location of the recipient and your three-digit area code (for those in the US and Canada).

Most fax numbers are ten digits long.

Some fax machines can have a phone line for testing connectivity and making phone calls.

This means that if the recipient answers the phone, it works like a regular phone line.

How to get a fax number

Many premium online service providers offer an online number, which lets you send and receive files using your smartphone or computer.

While some enable transfer to US and Canada recipients alone, others provide international faxing services.

As long as you have internet access, you can send documents.

If you sign up for a fax service, you can get your local or toll-free number.

This allows partners and clients to contact you without long-distance charges.

The good thing about online service providers is that you get all the essential features to communicate without requiring a bulky machine.

Why do you need a fax number?

You can request a test fax number from phone companies and online services to see if your connection works. Here are some reasons why you need a fax line.

Sending messages securely

Faxing is popular within law enforcement agencies, medical establishments, and law firms because it provides a straightforward means of sending confidential information without fear of interception.

You should also send documents via fax that contain social security numbers, personal health information, and licenses.

Unlike email, your messages will get to recipients directly without getting stuck in spam folders.

Efficient business communication

For the past 50 years, several businesses have been using fax machines because it helps them send important information across the world almost instantly.

Then email technology came, and people found a way to move physical machines to digital solutions.

Regardless of your stance on using physical devices, you can rest assured that intended recipients will get your files and respond instantly.

Easier paperwork

Dealing with paperwork can be messy, so you want to make sending, sorting, and storing documents less stressful.

Getting a fax number will help you keep an orderly log of secure electronic files.

Some online services offer digital signatures, which lets you sign documents without printing anything.

You can also declutter your office space and run a paperless office with digital faxing solutions.

3 common fax number formats

Fax digits have a typical format, with slight changes based on location.

They usually include an area code, a three-digit prefix, and four other digits. Here’s an example:

+(country code)(area code)(fax number)

For instance, the country code of the United States is 1, the area code of New York City is 917, and your number is (9876543). Your number would then be +1-917-987-6543.

Three main fax number formats depend on whether you send documents locally or internationally.

  1. Local: Fax number (987-6543)
  2. Regional: Area code + fax number (917-987-6543)
  3. International: Country code + area code + fax number (+1-917-987-6543).

When sending files outside your local area, you need to add a country code (if sending to another country) and area code (for the recipient’s specific region) at the beginning of your line.

Like the fax number example above, US numbers contain seven digits, usually in groups of three or four.

When sending files to a different country, your number will be longer because you must add the exit codes (country codes) to ensure the document reaches the international exchange board.

Exit codes are also based on the sender’s and receiver’s country.


A fax number is used to access a machine or digital solution.

You need it to send sensitive information to recipients in the neighboring office next door or all the way to another continent.

Thanks to online faxing services, you can get a progressive fax number for free.

You can send confidential files, receive prompt notifications, and view your faxing history.

Also, setting up an online faxing account with a reliable provider will immediately get you a fax line.

Frequently asked questions

  • A fax number is a phone line that lets you communicate with a fax machine or app. Online fax providers can provide a local toll-free number to send and receive documents on your smartphone or computer.

  • Yes, a fax number is different from a phone number. A phone number lets you communicate with others via voice call, while a fax number lets you transmit documents over a telephone line.

  • You need a fax number to send documents to others in your area. You only need your +(area code)(fax line) to send and receive documents locally. However, if you are using PandaDoc Online Fax, you won’t need a number because we’ve got you covered by default.


PandDoc is not a law firm, or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. This page is not intended to and does not provide legal advice. Should you have legal questions on the validity of e-signatures or digital signatures and the enforceability thereof, please consult with an attorney or law firm. Use of PandaDocs services are governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.