The Do Not Call Registry

How many times have you shouted through your phone at a telemarketer about your number being on the Do Not Call Registry? If you’re anything like me, it’s at least once a week. But what is the Do Not Call Registry and how does it work? In this article we’re going to explore the ins and outs of the DNC and why it’s important.

The Do Not Call Registry (DNC) is a list of phone numbers submitted by consumers to the FTC. The phone numbers on this list are not allowed to be called by a telemarketer unless they meet a very strict set of criteria defined in the TSR (Telemarketing Sales Rule). It is important to know that the DNC is different than CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act – yes, I hate backronyms also) and the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act).


What does the DNC cover?

Believe it or not, the DNC does not cover as many situations as you might think – and there are a lot of exceptions to what it covers as well.

-Personal phone lines only (including pagers and cell phones)-

-Phone numbers that have been submitted to the DNC Registry. It’s a common misconception that “all cell phones are automatically on the list” – this is simply not true

-Phone calls that cross state lines: “Any plan, program or campaign to sell goods or services through interstate phone calls” [as per FTC’s guidance](



Yes, you heard me right: there are exceptions to whether a phone call is covered by the DNC. What are some of those exceptions? When does the DNC not apply?

-Charities – any 501c3 organization

-Political organizations

-Telephone surveyors

-Companies with which the consumer has an existing business relationship

-Calls made within state lines. Some states have their own internal DNC rules, but the FTC’s only has jurisdiction between states.

-Calls made to businesses

It’s not instant! Telemarketers are only required to refresh their data from the DNC once every 31 days. This means that there’s a good chance you’re going to still get telemarketing calls in the month after you’ve submitted your registration. Luckily, once it’s been registered, it will stay registered until the number has been disconnected and assigned to a new consumer.


What does this mean for a telemarketer?

If you’re a business that engages consumers over the phone and you do not meet any of the exceptions listed on the FTC’s website, you need to stay compliant. Most sellers of consumer marketing lists will scrub their files through the DNC to make sure the numbers are safe to call.

If you’re interested in purchasing a consumer marketing list that has been scrubbed against the DNC, please contact our sales team today. We’ll be happy to walk you through the process of staying compliant with the latest and greatest data!

The authors of the information presented on this page are not attorneys nor are they affiliated with attorneys. The information presented on this page does not constitute legal advice. Before acting on any of the information obtained from this page or any others on this website, please consult your own legal counsel.
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