Telecommunications Relay Services permit persons with a hearing or speech disability to use the telephone system via a text telephone (TTY) or other device to call persons with or without such disabilities.

To make using TRS as simple as possible, you can simply dial 711 to be automatically connected to a TRS operator. It's fast, functional and free. Dialing 711, both voice and TRS users can initiate a call from any telephone, anywhere in the United States, without having to remember and dial a seven or ten-digit access number.

Dial 711 using private branch exchanges and VoIP

FCC rules require all telephone companies that operate private branch exchanges - a private telephone system within an organization - to implement three-digit 711 dialing for access to TRS. This includes wireline, wireless and payphone providers. PBX operators are required to modify their equipment to enable 711 dialing to ensure everyone has easy access to TRS.

Callers from locations served by PBXs may be required to dial 9 or another prefix before entering the 711 code or placing an outside call.

Providers of interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service also must offer 711 dialing service.

911 calls

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that people with disabilities who use TTYs or other devices have direct, equal access to emergency response services. In the event of an emergency, TTY users should call 911 directly and not make a TRS call via 711.

Video and Internet-based relay services

711 dialing access does not work for Video Relay Service, Internet Protocol Relay or IP Captioned Telephone Service Relay calls, because such calls are initiated through the Internet. Hearing persons initiating a VRS or IP Relay call may do so by calling a provider's 800 number. IPCTS users should call their party directly, and a communications assistant will be automatically connected to the call.

More information on TRS

For more information about the various types of TRS, see the FCC's consumer guide or visit the website of our Disability Rights Office.

Filing a complaint

If you are unable to reach a TRS operator by dialing 711, you have multiple options for filing a complaint with the FCC:

  • File a complaint online
  • By phone: 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322); TTY: 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322); ASL: 1-844-432-2275
  • By mail (please include your name, address, contact information and as much detail about your complaint as possible):

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

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Dial 711 for Telecommunications Relay Service Guide (pdf)

Date Last Updated/Reviewed: 
Tuesday, November 24, 2015