Know what‘s below.
Contact 811 before you dig

Frequently Asked Questions

  • +What is a ticket?

    A "ticket" is the industry wide term that refers to the locate request you submit through USA North 811.  After submitting your ticket (online or over the phone), you will receive a ticket number that is the reference number for your individual request.

  • +Who should call?

    For your personal safety, as well as the safety of your community, we encourage everyone who is digging, excavating, drilling, trenching, grading, etc. to Contact 811 Before They Dig. State and Local laws may exclude some from the responsibility of calling, and those laws can be found in our Excavation Laws section.

  • +When can I start digging?

    You are safe to begin digging after the start time on your ticket or two working day notice (whichever is later) has passed, and all notified utility members have positively responded to your request.

    If the start date and time for your ticket has passed, and one or more of our utility members has neglected to respond to your request, please refrain from digging and contact us as soon as possible by dialing 8-1-1 so that we may notify the utility member(s) in question regarding their no response.

  • +Who marks the lines?

    USA North 811 is not a locating service.   When you submit a ticket for planned excavation through USA North 811, we will then contact the utility members in the area of your dig.  Once being notified, the utility members will then either dispatch their own in house locators to mark their facilities, or send out a 3rd party contract locator to mark their facilities for them.  Each individual utility member has a responsibility to respond regarding their facilities, so you typically will have several locators responding to your site or attempting to contact you leading up to the start time of your dig.

  • +How do I premark my site?

    The industry wide method of premarking your excavation site is to use white paint.  Other methods that will suffice include white stakes, white flags, white whiskers, white chalk and even white baking flour in a pinch.  White is the only color identifier that is recognized for proposed excavation.  For further information regarding premarking your dig site, please refer to the Excavation Law and Guidelines section and choose the appropriate State you are working in.

  • +What questions will I be asked when submitting my ticket?

    To review a list of questions that you will be asked when submitting a ticket, please refer to the Location Request Form.  You can download a .pdf of the file for your use in the field as well.  If you have any questions regarding what you will be asked when submitting a ticket, please contact our Operations Department at 800-640-5137 x2338 or


    These are the questions you’ll be asked over the phone or online when submitting your ticket.

    View Form
  • 811 Express

    If your work is taking place at a single address, click the link below to submit your ticket online.

    Submit Ticket

Marking Color Code

+These are the colors our utility members will use to mark their underground facilities at your dig site.
  • Proposed Excavation
  • Electric
  • Communication CATV
  • Reclaimed Water Irrigation Slurry
  • Temporary Survey Markings
  • Gas-Oil-Steam
  • Water
  • Sewer Storm Drain

Excavation law and guidelines

About USA North 811