Frequently Asked Questions - Do Not Call
The registry is a list that consumers can join to reduce unwanted telemarketing calls to their home and cellular phone numbers. Consumers can register their telephone numbers at no cost for five years. Most telemarketers will be required to purchase the list, and will be barred from calling any phone number registered on the list within 30 days of the date the number was registered, unless the telemarketer has written permission to call that number.
You can register using the Internet or call toll-free. It's quick and free.
Call Toll Free: (888) 382-1222
Hearing Impaired: (866) 290-4236
Once you've registered your home or cellular phone numbers, they will stay on the registry permanently. Telephone numbers on the registry will only be removed when they are disconnected and reassigned, or when the consumer chooses to remove a number from the registry.
If I pre-registered for the Do Not Call Registry with the California Attorney General, do I need to register again with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)?
No. California is coordinating with the FTC. If you pre-registered with the California Attorney General, your telephone number(s) have been given to the FTC for inclusion in the nationwide Do Not Call list. You will then be registered with the FTC's Do Not Call list for five years. Most telemarketing calls should stop within 30 days from when you registered your number.
How does the Do Not Call Registry work for telemarketers? How does the Do Not Call Registry protect me from telemarketing calls?
The law requires telemarketers to search the registry every 30 days and delete from their call lists phone numbers that are on the registry. If you find that you are receiving telemarketing calls 30 days after you have registered your telephone number, you will be able to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission or the California Attorney General. File your complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the California Attorney General using the on-line complaint form at donotcall.gov or call (888) 382-1222 (TTY: 866-290-4236). A telemarketer who disregards the national Do Not Call Registry could be fined up to $16,000 for each call.
Most telemarketing calls should stop within 30 days of the date you register on the Do Not Call list. There are some exceptions. The law allows calls from charities and debt collectors, and from businesses with which you have an established business relationship. It also allows calls from the owner of local businesses within 50 miles of your home. (For more information on established business relationships, see question 10.) By federal law, you may ask businesses to put you on their own do not call lists.
If your number has been registered on the National Do Not Call Registry for at least 30 days and you receive an unlawful telemarketing call, you may file a complaint on-line the registry's website at donotcall.gov or by calling the registry's toll-free number at 1-888-382-1222 (TTY, 1-866-290-4236). In order to file a complaint, you must know either the name or the phone number of the company that called you. Our office cannot trace the phone call you received and obtain this information on your behalf. You also must provide the date that the company called you and your registered phone number. You may provide your name and address, but it's not required for you to submit a complaint.
The law does allow calls from charities and debt collectors, and from businesses with which you have an established business relationship. It also allows calls from the owner of local businesses within 50 miles of your home. For more information on established business relationships, see question 10. By federal law, you may ask businesses to put you on their own do-not-call lists.
The California Attorney General's Office, local prosecutors, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will be able to bring enforcement actions against telemarketers who violate the law. The FTC will enter all consumer complaints it receives about violations into a national database that is searchable by law enforcement officials. In addition, state enforcement officials can send complaints to the FTC database.
Most telemarketers will be covered by the registry, but the law provides for some exceptions, including charities, political groups, and companies that have an established relationship with a consumer. Under the established business relationship rule, a business with which you have conducted business may call you for up to 18 months after your last purchase, payment or delivery - even if your name is on the national Do Not Call Registry. Companies to which you've made an inquiry or submitted an application may call you for three months. The law also allows calls from the owner of local businesses within 50 miles of your home. If a company is calling across state lines, however, and you ask that company not to call you, it must honor your request, even if you have an established business relationship.