What is the National Do Not Call List?

What is the National Do Not Call List?


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October 3, 2023

Do you get sales calls on your cell phone or landline throughout the day? One way we used to deal with these calls was by not picking up numbers from area codes you did not recognize. However, these companies have now become more sophisticated, calling from numbers that appear to be local. Additionally, as people move, but keep their cell phone numbers the same, we are more apt to pick up phone calls from unrecognizable area codes. The National Do Not Call Registry is designed to stop those pesky sales calls that plague our phones throughout the day.

You may recall the National Do Not Call Registry from many years ago. It was first enacted in 2003 following the passage of the “Do-Not-Call Implementation Act of 2003.” Many Americans registered their landlines during the first few years. 17 years later, many people no longer have landlines and rely on cell phones for all of their calls.

Unsure if your phone number is registered with the database? DoNotCall.gov makes it easy to check your phone numbers’ status, register, and report unwanted calls.

After you have registered your phone number, it is added to a database maintained by the United States government. The original registry only stored phone numbers for 5 years, so it’s a good idea to check if your number is on it, regardless if you recall registering previously!

31 days after you have registered your phone number, you may report any unwanted sales calls to www.donotcall.gov. Some exceptions do apply. Political calls, not-for-profit organizations, survey collectors, and bill collectors are still eligible to contact you.

Do note that the registry will only apply if the phone number you have registered is a personal phone line. The registry does not protect business phone lines. Check with your provider or employer to find out how your phone number is registered.