Fax Advertising Policy
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), 47 U.S.C. § 227, restricts the use of the facsimile machine to deliver unsolicited advertisements. Specifically, the TCPA prohibits the use of “any telephone facsimile machine, computer, or other device to send an unsolicited advertisement to a telephone facsimile machine.” The TCPA applies only to those facsimile messages that constitute “unsolicited advertisements.” The statutory prohibition applies to such advertisements sent both to residential and business facsimile numbers.
In 2005, the Junk Fax Prevention Act amended the TCPA to permit the sending of unsolicited facsimile advertisements to individuals and businesses with which the sender has an established business relationship and to provide a process by which any sender must cease sending such advertisements upon the request of the recipient. On April 5, 2006, the Commission adopted rules to implement the Junk Fax Prevention Act.
Among other things, the Commission’s rules in 47 CFR § 64.1200 require the sender of fax advertisements to obtain permission from the recipient before transmitting the fax. The fax sender must also provide notice and contact information on the fax that allows recipients to opt out of future fax transmissions from the sender and requires senders to honor opt-out requests within the shortest reasonable period of time, not to exceed 30 days. If there is an established business relationship between the recipient and the fax sender (as set forth in our rules), the recipient’s permission is not required but the sender must have obtained the fax number in a permissible way, described in the FCC rules. These limitations do not apply to a fax that is not an advertisement, such as a fax that is solely transactional (e.g., confirming a purchase) or informational (e.g., an industry newsletter).
For more details about the fax rules, click on the link to the fact sheet below.
Consumer Guide: Junk Fax Consumer Guide