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Telemarketing and Robocalls

In an effort to address a growing number of telephone marketing calls, Congress enacted in 1991 the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The TCPA restricts the making of telemarketing calls and the use of automatic telephone dialing systems and artificial or prerecorded voice messages. The rules apply to common carriers as well as to other marketers. In 1992, the Commission adopted rules to implement the TCPA, including the requirement that entities making telephone solicitations institute procedures for maintaining company-specific do-not-call lists.

Most recently, in 2012, the FCC revised its TCPA rules to require telemarketers (1) to obtain prior express written consent from consumers before robocalling them, (2) to no longer allow telemarketers to use an “established business relationship” to avoid getting consent from consumers when their home phones, and (3) to require telemarketers to provide an automated, interactive “opt-out” mechanism during each robocall so consumers can immediately tell the telemarketer to stop calling.

Earlier, in 2003, the FCC revised its TCPA rules to establish, in coordination with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a national Do-Not-Call registry. The national registry is nationwide in scope, covers all telemarketers (with the exception of certain nonprofit organizations), and applies to both interstate and intrastate calls. The registry went into effect on October 1, 2003, and is administered by the FTC. To reduce the number of hang-up and dead air calls consumers experience, the Commissions telemarketing rules also contain restrictions on the use of autodialers and requirements for transmitting caller ID information.

For more details about the Commission's telemarketing rules, including the do-not-call provisions, click on the link on this page for the July 3, 2003 Order. For details about registering with or accessing the do-not-call registry, visit our Do-Not-Call Registry page. Additional reference materials available on the web include a summary of TCPA rules (PDF) and the Commission's Telemarketing Rules (CFR Title 47, Part 64, subpart L: "Restrictions on Telemarketing, Telephone Solicitation, and Facsimile Advertising").

Guide: Unwanted Telephone Marketing Calls

Guide: Truth About Cell Phones

Click to visit our do-not-call registry page...

Major Telemarketing Orders and Notices

4/25/14
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on Petitions Concerning the Commission's Rules on Opt-Out Notices on Fax Advertisements.
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

3/28/14
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on Crown Mortgage Company Petition Concerning the Commission's Rule on Optout Notices on Fax Advertisements.
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

3/27/14
Cargo Airline Association Petition for Expedited Declaratory Ruling.
Order: Word | Acrobat
Erratum: Acrobat

3/27/14
GroupMe, Inc./Skype Communications S.A.R.L Petition for Expedited Declaratory Ruling.
Declaratory Ruling: Word | Acrobat

2/20/14
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment On Petition For Declaratory Ruling Filed By Acurian, Inc.
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

2/6/14
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on Petition for Expedited Declaratory Ruling From United Healthcare Services, Inc.
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

1/31/14
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on Commission's Rule On Opt-Out Fax Advertisements
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

1/22/14
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on Petition for Declaratory Ruling Filed By Retail Industry Leaders Association.
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

12/3/13
Consumer And Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on Revised TCPA Exemption Proposal From The Cargo Airline Association.
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

12/2/13
Consumer And Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on Petition For Expedited Declaratory Ruling Filed By Glide Talk, LTD.
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

11/19/13
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comments for Expedited Declaratory Ruling and/or Expedited Rulemaking from the Professional Association for Customer Engagement.
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

11/1/13
Consumer And Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on Petition For Declaratory Ruling From a Coalition of Mobile Engagement Providers.
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

11/1/13
Consumer And Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment On Petition For Forbearance From The Direct Marketing Association.
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

6/25/13
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on Petition for Expedited Declaratory Ruling from YouMail, Inc.
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

5/13/13
Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991.
Small Entity Compliance Guide: Word | Acrobat

11/29/12
Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 et al. Granted the Petition for Declaratory Ruling filed by SoundBite Communications, Inc. (Dkt No. 02-278 ). Action by: the Commission. Adopted: 11/26/2012 by Declaratory Ruling. (FCC No. 12-143). CGB
Declaratory Ruling: Word | Acrobat
Pai Statement: Word | Acrobat

10/23/12
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on Petition for an Expedited Clarification and Declaratory RUling from Revolution Messaging, LLC.
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

10/23/12
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on Petition for Consideration and Clarification from Westfax, Inc.
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

10/23/12
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on Petition for Declaratory Ruling from IHIRE, LLC.
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

10/23/12
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on Petition for Expedited Declaratory Ruling From 3G Collect.
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

10/17/12
FCC Adopts Rules to Protect Emergency Service Providers from Unwanted Robocalls.
News Release: Word | Acrobat
R&O: Word | Acrobat

10/16/12
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on Petition for Expedited Declaratory Ruling from the Cargo Airline Association.
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

10/16/12
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on Petition for Declaratory Ruling from Communication Innovators.
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

10/16/12
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on Request for Clarification from CallAssistant, LLC.
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

9/24/12
Petitions for Reconsideration of Action in Rulemaking Proceeding.
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

7/24/12
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on Petition For Expedited Declaratory Ruling From GroupMe, Inc.
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

2/15/12
FCC Strengthens Consumer Protections Against Telemarketing Robocalls.
News Release: Word | Acrobat
Report & Order: Word | Acrobat
Genachowski Statement: Word | Acrobat
McDowell Statement: Word | Acrobat
Clyburn Statement: Word | Acrobat

1/22/10
FCC Proposes Tougher Restrictions on "Robocalls".
NPRM: Word | Acrobat
News Release (1/20/10): Word | Acrobat
Genachowski Statement: Word | Acrobat
Copps Statement: Word | Acrobat
McDowell Statement: Word | Acrobat
Clyburn Statement: Word | Acrobat
Baker Statement: Word | Acrobat

1/20/10
FCC Proposes Tougher Restrictions on "Robocalls".
NPRM (1/22/10): Word | Acrobat
News Release: Word | Acrobat
Genachowski Statement: Word | Acrobat
Copps Statement: Word | Acrobat
McDowell Statement: Word | Acrobat
Clyburn Statement: Word | Acrobat
Baker Statement: Word | Acrobat

9/17/09
No Truth to Rumor that Cell Phone Numbers Will be Made Available to Telemarketers.
News Release: Word | Acrobat

07/11/2008
Annual Report on the National Do-Not-Call Registry (Fiscal Years 2006 and 2007).
Word | Acrobat

6/17/08
Rules Amended to Require Telemarketers to Honor Do-Not-Call List Registrations Indefinitely.
News Release: Word | Acrobat
Order: Word | Acrobat
Martin Statement: Word | Acrobat
Copps Statement: Word | Acrobat
Adelstein Statement: Word | Acrobat
Tate Statement: Word | Acrobat
McDowell Statement: Word | Acrobat

01/04/08
Request of ACA International for Clarification and Declaratory Ruling.
Declaratory Ruling: 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:
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

04/05/06
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on ACA International's Petition for an Expedited Clarification and Declaratory Ruling Concerning the Telephone Consumer Protections Act (TCPA) Rules.
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

09/16/2005
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

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

5/13/2005
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on Petition For Declaratory Ruling on Preemption of California Telemarketing Rules.
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

5/13/2005
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on Petition For Declaratory Ruling Relating to Commission's Jurisdiction Over Interstate Telemarketing.
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

5/13/2005
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau Reopens Public Comment Period For Petitions For Declaratory Ruling Relating to Preemption of State Telemarketing Laws.
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

2/18/2005
Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991
2nd Order on Reconsideration: Word | Acrobat
Powell Statement: Word | Acrobat

12/15/2004
Annual Report to Congress on the National Do-Not-Call Registry. Word | PDF

12/07/2004
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on Consumer Bankers Association Petition for Declaratory Ruling on Preemption of Indiana Telemarketing Rules
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

12/07/2004
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on Consumer Bankers Association Petition for Declaratory Ruling on Preemption of Wisconsin Telemarketing Rules
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

12/07/2004
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on National City Mortgage Co. Petition for Expedited Declaratory Ruling on Preemption Of Florida Telemarketing Rules
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

11/16/2004
CGB releases order granting Express Consolidation's motion to withdraw their petition for declaratory ruling.
Order: Word | Acrobat

9/21/2004
The Commission establishes a limited safe harbor period for autodialed or prerecorded message calls to recently ported wireless numbers and amends the National Do-not-call registry safe harbor rules
Order: Word | Acrobat

09/20/2004
The Commission's Order Establishing Rules Implementing the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 Published in the Federal Register
News Release: Word | Acrobat

10/01/2003
FCC Issues Consumer Advisory on FCC Do-Not-Call Rules
News Release:Word | Acrobat
Consumer Advisory: Word | Acrobat

9/29/2003
FCC's Telemarketing Rules Approved by OMB
Public Notice: Word | Acrobat

9/09/2003
Report on Regulatory Coordination, a Report to Congress Containing an Analysis of the Telemarketing Rules, DA No. 03-2855 Word | Acrobat

9/08/2003
Public Notice: Petitions for Reconsideration and Clarification of Action in Rulemaking Proceeding Word | Acrobat

7/28/2003
News Release, The Commission's Report and Order Revising the Rules on Telemarketing Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 Published in the Federal Register Word | Acrobat

7/03/2003
Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991.
Report & Order: Word | Acrobat
Powell Statement: Word | Acrobat
Abernathy Statement: Word | Acrobat
Copps Statement: Word | Acrobat
Adelstein Statement: Word | Acrobat

6/26/2003
FCC Authorizes Nationwide Do-Not-Call Registry
News Release:    Word | Acrobat
Powell Statement:     Word | Acrobat
Abernathy Statement:    Word | Acrobat
Copps Statement:    Word | Acrobat
Adelstein Statement:    Word | Acrobat

3/25/2003
Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Dkt No. 02-278 Word | Acrobat

1/31/2003
Statement by K. Dane Snowden, Chief, CGB, on the Commission's Review of its Telemarketing Rules
News Release: Word | Acrobat

09/18/2002
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

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