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Do Not Call List

Has your evening or weekend been disrupted by a call from a telemarketer? If so, you’re not alone. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been receiving complaints in increasing numbers from consumers throughout the nation about unwanted and uninvited calls to their homes from telemarketers.

Pursuant to its authority under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the FCC established, together with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a national Do-Not-Call Registry. The registry is nationwide in scope, applies to all telemarketers (with the exception of certain non-profit organizations), and covers both interstate and intrastate telemarketing calls. Commercial telemarketers are not allowed to call you if your number is on the registry, subject to certain exceptions. As a result, consumers can, if they choose, reduce the number of unwanted phone calls to their homes.

Do-Not-Call Registry

You can register your phone numbers for free, and they will remain on the list until you remove them or discontinue service – there is no need to re-register numbers.

The Do-Not-Call registry does not prevent all unwanted calls. It does not cover the following:

  • calls from organizations with which you have established a business relationship;
  • calls for which you have given prior written permission;
  • calls which are not commercial or do not include unsolicited advertisements;
  • calls by or on behalf of tax-exempt non-profit organizations.

How to Register

For Consumers:

Subscribers may register their residential telephone number, including wireless numbers, on the national Do-Not-Call registry by telephone or by Internet at no cost.

Consumers can register on-line for the national do-not-call registry by going to www.donotcall.gov. To register by telephone, consumers may call 1-888-382-1222: for TTY call 1-866-290-4236. You must call from the phone number you wish to register.

FTC National Do Not Call Registry image and link to FTC Registry web page

For Industry:

Telemarketers and sellers are required to search the registry at least once every 31 days and drop from their call lists the phone numbers of consumers who have registered. For more information, see: Industry.

Related Rules

In addition to the establishment of a national Do-Not-Call Registry, there are other amendments to the Commission's rules implementing the TCPA that may reduce the number of telemarketing calls to your home:

  • If you subscribe to CALLER ID, you should know when a telemarketer is calling you: telemarketers are required to transmit Caller ID information and may not block their numbers.
  • Telemarketers must ensure that predictive dialers abandon no more than three percent of all calls placed and answered by a person. A call will be considered "abandoned" if it is not transferred to a live sales agent within two seconds of the recipient's greeting. As a result, you are less likely to run to answer the phone only to find silence or the "click" of the calling party disconnecting the line.

In addition to these changes the rules provide:

  • Telephone solicitation calls to your home before 8 am or after 9 pm are prohibited.
  • Anyone making a telephone solicitation call to your home must provide his/her name, the name of the entity on whose behalf the call is being made, and a telephone number or address at which you may contact that entity.
  • Company-specific do-not-call lists are available to consumers who wish to avoid telemarketing calls only from specific companies. For more information see our Unwanted Telephone Marketing Calls Guide.

How to Complain

Filing a Do-Not-Call Complaint

In addition to complaints alleging violations of the national do-not-call list, you may also file a complaint against a telemarketer who is calling for a commercial purpose (e.g., not charitable organizations) IF:

  • The telemarketer calls before 8 AM or after 9 PM; OR
  • The telemarketer leaves a message, but fails to leave a phone number that you can call to sign up for their company specific do-not-call list; OR
  • You receive a telemarketing call from a company that you have previously requested not call you; OR
  • The telemarketing firm fails to identify itself; OR
  • You receive a pre-recorded commercial message from someone with whom you do not have an established business relationship and to whom you have not given permission to call you.

How to File a Complaint

You can file a complaint by telephone to 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) voice or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY, by fax to 1-866-418-0232, via our electronic complaint form, or mail. For the FCC to process your complaint you must either fill in the electronic form completely or otherwise indicate:

  • your name and address;
  • the home phone number where you received the solicitation;
  • identification of the individual or company whose products or services were being advertised or sold, and any phone numbers included in the call;
  • a description of the call;
  • any phone number provided to allow you to “opt-out” of future calls;
  • whether you or anyone else in your household gave the caller express prior permission to call;
  • whether you have an EBR with the caller (specifically, whether you or anyone else in your household made any purchases of property, goods, or services from the company that called, or made any inquiry or filed an application with the company prior to receiving the call).

If mailing a complaint, send it to:

Federal Communications Commission
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554

Consumer Private Right of Action

In addition to filing a complaint with the FCC, consumers may explore the possibility of filing an action in a state court.

For general information, you may contact the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau in the following ways:

Via Internet
Consumer Center, Voice: 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) and
TTY: 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322)

For this or any other consumer publication in an alternative format (electronic ASCII text, Braille, large print, or audio) please write or call us at the address or phone number above, or send an email to FCC504@fcc.gov.

Consumer Guides on FCC Do-Not-Call Rules

Looking For More Information?

Federal Communications Commission
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554
1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) VOICE
1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY

Major Telemarketing Orders and Notices

06/17/08
FCC Makes Do Not Call Registration Permanent.
Order: Word | Acrobat

12/04/07
FCC Proposes Extending the 5-Year Registration Period for the National Do-Not-Call Registry.
NPRM: Word | Acrobat
News Release (11/27/07): Word | Acrobat
Martin Statement: Word | Acrobat
Copps Statement: Word | Acrobat
Adelstein Statement: Word | Acrobat
Tate Statement: Word | Acrobat
McDowell Statement: Word | Acrobat

11/27/07
FCC Proposes Extending the 5-Year Registration Period for the National Do-Not-Call Registry.
News Release: Word | Acrobat
NPRM (12/04/07):
Word | Acrobat
Martin Statement: Word | Acrobat
Copps Statement: Word | Acrobat
Adelstein Statement: Word | Acrobat
Tate Statement: Word | Acrobat
McDowell Statement: Word | Acrobat

01/26/07
Annual Report on the National Do-Not-Call Registry
Report: Word | Acrobat

09/16/05
Annual Report on the National Do-Not-Call Registry.
Word | Acrobat

08/17/2005
Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991.
Granted the Request for Clarification and Declaratory Ruling filed by State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company
Declaratory Ruling: Word | Acrobat

06/28/05
FCC Delays Effective Date for Rules Concerning Unsolicited Fax Advertisements.
News Release: Word | Acrobat

06/27/05
Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991.
Order: Word | Acrobat

6/15/2005
National Automobile Dealers Association
Declaratory Ruling: Word | Acrobat

04/15/05
The Truth About Cell Phones and the National Do Not Call Registry
News Release: Word | Acrobat

02/18/05
Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991
2nd Order on Reconsideration: Word | Acrobat
Powell Statement: Word | Acrobat

12/23/04
Effective January 1, 2005, telemarketers will have to scrub their contact lists against the national do-not-call registry every 31 days, rather than every three months, as had been the case since the do-not-call list was established in 2003.
News Release: Word | Acrobat

12/15/04
Annual Report to Congress on the National Do-Not-Call Registry. Word | PDF

02/18/04
FCC Logs in Nearly 10,000 Complaints Since Do-Not-Call Registry Became Effective on October 1, 2003.
News Release: Word | Acrobat

02/17/04
Statement of FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell on court's upholding Do-Not-Call rules. Word | PDF

10/17/03
Mainstream Marketing Services, Inc., et al. v. FTC, FCC & USA Consolidated Opening Brief of Appellant FTC, Respondent FCC and Respondent-Intervenor United States, Nos. 03-1429, et al.(10th Cir.)

10/08/03
FCC Logs In 2,379 Do-Not-Call Registry Complaints Since October 1.
News Release:  Word | PDF

10/07/03
Statement of Chairman Powell on 10th Circuit Court Of Appeals Lifting Stay of Do-Not-Call Registry.   Word | PDF

10/03/03
The FCC temporarily stays the limitations imposed in section 64.1200 (f)(3) on the duration of an "established business relationship" as applied to the sending of unsolicited facsimile advertisements.  Word | PDF

10/02/03
FCC Establishes Special Do-Not-Call Enforcement Team.
News Release and fact sheet:  Word | PDF

9/30/03
Statement of Chairman Powell, Before the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, United States Senate on Rules and Regulations Implementing the Do-Not-Call Registry Pursuant to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991  Word | PDF

9/29/03
FCC's Telemarketing Rules Approved by OMB.
Public Notice:  Word | PDF

9/26/03
Statement of Chairman Powell Following Yesterdays Do-Not-Call List Court Decision from the Colorado District Court.  Word | PDF

9/25/03
Mainstream Marketing Services, Inc., et al. v. FCC & USA
Brief of FCC and United States In Response To The Court's September 24, 2003 Order, No. 03-9571 (10th Cir.)

9/24/03
Statement of Chairman Powell on Do-Not-Call List Court Decision.  Word | PDF

9/10/03
Mainstream Marketing Services, Inc., et al. v. FCC & USA
Response of FCC to Petitioners' Motion for Expedited Stay Pending Appeal, No. 03-9571 (10th Cir.)

07/28/03
The Commission's Report And Order Revising The Rules On Telemarketing Under The Telephone Consumer Protection Act Of 1991 Published In The Federal Register
News Release:  Word | PDF

07/03/03
Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991
Report and Order: Word | PDF
Powell Statement: Word | PDF
Abernathy Statement: Word | PDF
Copps Statement: Word | PDF
Adelstein Statement: Word | PDF

04/07/03
Dates Set for Comments on Do-Not-Call Implementation Act as Part of Telemarketing Proceeding
News Release: Word | Acrobat

03/25/03
Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Dkt No. 02-278
Word | Acrobat

01/31/03
Statement by K. Dane Snowden, Chief, CGB, on the Commission's Review of its Telemarketing Rules
News Release: Word | Acrobat

12/20/02
CGB Announces an Extension of Time to File Reply Comments on the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) Rules, DA No. 02-3554, Dkt No 02-278. Comments Due: 1/31/2003 Word | Acrobat

10/09/02
CGB announces dates for filing comments and reply comments on the Telephone Consumer Protection (TCPA) rules News Release | Public Notice

09/18/02
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, FCC 02-250 Acrobat

04/10/1997
Order on Further Reconsideration, Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, FCC 97-117

08/07/1995
Memorandum Opinion and Order, Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, FCC 95-310

10/16/1992
Report and Order, Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, FCC 92-443 Pages 1 to 25 | Pages 26 to 43

Updated: September 26, 2014
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