The National Do Not Call Registry is designed to stop unwanted sales calls from real companies who follow the law. It’s free to register your home or cell phone number. The Registry is a list telling registered telemarketers what numbers not to call – but it doesn’t block calls; being on the Registry won’t stop calls from scammers making illegal calls.

Adding your number to the registry

How do I add my number to the Registry?

Go to or call 888.382.1222 from the phone you want to register for free. You’ll get an email with a link you have to click on within 72 hours to complete your registration.

How long will it take for sales calls to stop?

Your phone number should show up on the Registry the next day, but it can take up to 31 days for sales calls to stop. To check whether your number is on the Registry, visit or call 888.382.1222 from your number.

Will my registration expire?

No, your registration will never expire. The FTC will only remove your number from the Registry if it’s disconnected and reassigned, or if you ask to remove it.

Can I add my cell phone number to the Do Not Call Registry?


What the registry doesn’t do

Will the Registry stop all unwanted calls?

No. The Do Not Call Registry stops unwanted sales calls – live calls or robocalls – from real companies that follow the law. The Registry is a list telling registered telemarketers what numbers not to call, but it doesn’t block calls. So, being on the Registry won’t stop calls from scammers making illegal calls.

One reason people get a lot of unwanted calls is because it’s easy and cheap for scammers to call people anywhere in the world. To get fewer unwanted calls, look into call-blocking and call-labeling services. There are different call-blocking and call-labeling options for cell phones, traditional landlines, and home phones that make calls over the internet (VoIP).

Can a company still call me with a sales pitch?

Companies can call you if you’ve recently done business with them, or if you’ve given them written permission to call. But if you ask them not to call you, they have to stop. Be sure to write down the date you asked them to stop.

Are any other types of calls still allowed under FTC rules if I’m on the Registry?

The rules allow:  political calls, charitable calls, debt collection calls, purely informational calls, and surveys. These calls can’t also include a sales pitch.

What about robocalls?

If a robocall – a call that plays a recorded message – is selling something, it’s illegal unless the company trying to sell you something has written permission, directly from you, to call you that way.

So, if you haven’t given the company permission, and the robocall isn’t purely informational – like your cable company confirming a service appointment – the call is illegal and probably a scam. That’s true whether your number is on the Registry or not.

If you get an illegal robocall, hang up. Don’t press buttons to be taken off a call list or to talk to a live person. It might lead to more unwanted calls.

Report unwanted calls

Where do I report an unwanted call?

If you didn’t lose money and just want to report a call, use the reporting form at If you’ve lost money to a phone scam, or if you have information about the company or scammer who called you, report it at

When you report a call, include:

  • your number
  • the number that’s on your caller ID – even if you think it might be spoofed or  fake
  • any number you’re told to call back
  • the date and time of the call (if you’re able to)

Will I hear back from the FTC?

The FTC gets millions of reports each year, so they can’t respond to each one. The FTC and other law enforcement agencies analyze reports to identify and take action against the people responsible for illegal calls and scams.

The FTC also takes the phone numbers you report calling you and releases them each business day to help telecommunications carriers and other industry partners working on call-blocking and call-labeling solutions.

What’s the penalty if a company illegally calls numbers on the Registry?

Companies illegally calling numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry or placing an illegal robocall can currently be fined up to $50,120 per call.

I think a scammer faked the number I see on my caller ID. Do I still report it?

Technology has made it easy for scammers to fake or spoof caller ID information, so the number you’re reporting might not be the caller’s real number. But sometimes, the FTC and other law enforcement agencies can still trace the call based on the information you give. To get fewer unwanted calls, look into call-blocking and call-labeling solutions.

Registration questions

Are cell phones treated differently from home phones on the Do Not Call Registry?

No. You register a cell phone number the same way you do any other number. There’s no difference between cell phone and home phone numbers once they’re listed on the Registry.

Someone called and offered to put my name on the Registry. Should I let them?

No. It’s free and easy to register yourself, following the directions above.

What happens if I register more than one number online?

You’ll get an email for each number you register online. Open each email and click on the link in it within 72 hours to register each number.

You’ll be able to register up to three numbers at a time online. To register more phone numbers, just go through the registration process again. If you want to register your number by calling the toll-free number, you’ll have to call from each phone number you want to register.

Can I register my business phone number or a fax number?

The Registry is for personal phone numbers. Business phone numbers and fax lines are not covered.

Can I take my number off the Registry?

Yes. To remove your number, call 888.382.1222 from the phone you want to remove. Your number will be off the Registry the next day. Businesses and organizations have to update their telemarketing lists within 31 days.

If I register, how will the FTC use my information?

The FTC stores your phone number and email to confirm your identity and direct telemarketers to remove it from their call lists.

For more information about the privacy of your information, please see the FTC privacy policy.

When I called to register, a message said my number could not be verified. What should I do?

If the automated phone system can’t verify your number, you’ll need to register online.

When I called to register, a message said the number I was calling from didn’t match the number I entered. What should I do?

To register, you must call from the phone you want to register. People in certain communities – such as senior living centers – have phone numbers that are hidden and can’t be verified by the FTC’s automated system. If that’s the case, you’ll need to register online.

I moved and got a new phone number. Do I need to register the new number?


Do I need to take my old phone number off the list when I get a new number?

No. The system removes numbers automatically when they’re disconnected and reassigned.

What happens if my phone number is disconnected but then reconnected?

If your number is disconnected and then reconnected, you might need to register your number again.

If my area code changes or splits, do I need to register my number again?

If phone companies change your three-digit area code, you don’t have to register your number again. Your new number will be registered for you during the 90-day period when both the old and new area codes work.

Other telemarketing rules

Telemarketers have other rules they must follow under the Telemarketing Sales Rule.

Telemarketers can’t:

  • Call before 8am or after 9pm in your local time
  • Use deception, abuse or lie about any terms of their offer
  • Ask you to pay with a cash-to-cash wire transfer (ex. Western Union and MoneyGram), by giving the PIN from a cash reload card (ex. MoneyPak and Vanilla Reload), or by asking for your bank account information to create a check you never see or sign

Telemarketers must:

  • Connect their call to a sales representative within two seconds after you answer
  • Transmit their telephone number and, if possible, their name, to your caller ID service
  • Tell you right away what seller or charitable organization they represent and if the call is a sales call or a charitable solicitation
  • Disclose all material information about the goods or services they’re offering and the terms of the sale
  • Get your permission to charge you and to use a particular account number