After passage of the Do-Not-Call Implementation Act of 2003, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a federal government agency, set up a website to allow consumers to register to stop companies from calling your phone number.
The Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007 made it so that consumers do not have to renew their registrations. Read the Law: 15 USC 6101 et. seq.
You may register your phone number (including cell phone numbers) with the FTC Consumer Protection Bureau.
- Register ONLINE: The FTC has a specific website where you can register your phone numbers at https://www.donotcall.gov/
- Register by PHONE: You may also call 1-888-382-1222 (1-866-290-4236 for TTY users) to register your phone number. You must call the above number from the phone number you want to be placed on the registry.
What happens after I register?
You can stop calls from any company (in-state or outside Maryland) that is trying to promote or sell you goods or services. You can also give permission to certain companies to keep calling you.
If you register on-line, you will receive an email confirmation. To activate your entry, you must reply to the email within 72 hours to confirm your registration. After you register, your phone number will show up on the registry the following day. Telemarketers will have 31 days to remove your phone number from their call lists.
You do not have to renew your registration. Telephone numbers on the Registry do not expire, but telephone numbers may be removed when the number is disconnected and reassigned. You may remove your number from the registry by calling 1-888-382-1222 from the telephone number you want to delete.
Who can still call you?
This will not stop all unwanted calls. While the system will prevent most telemarketers from calling you, there are several exceptions. The following groups/companies may still call you:
- Tax-exempt, nonprofit organizations (charities) are exempt and may call to raise money.
- This registry does not cover calls on religious or political matters (for example political polls) since they are not considered telemarketers.
- Companies may call you for 90 days after you inquire about services or complete an application for services.
- If you have an "established business relationship", the company may call you for up to 18 months after the last time you purchased something from them (or had another "business transaction").
What do I do if a company calls me anyway?
Fill out the complaint form at https://www.donotcall.gov/ or call 1-888-382-1222 (TTY: 1-866-290-4236).
Due to the volume of complaints, the FTC cannot respond directly to every complaint. Instead, the FTC and other law enforcement agencies analyze the complaints to spot trends and to identify and take action against the people responsible for the illegal calls.