Do Not Call list explained: everything you need to know

Tim Vickers

The Do Not Call List is a registry of phone numbers that prevents telemarketers from calling their owners.

If you have been receiving annoying calls from companies that want to sell you their products or services, you can contact the National Do Not Call Registry of the Federal Trade Commission to register your number. Once you complete your no-calling list registration, no business entity will call you to market itself or sell you an item.

Although you can put your number on the National Do Not Call List Registry, a telemarketer must have its own “No Call List,” even if you do not register.

However, the organization will only add your phone number if you tell them to add it to its database or to stop calling you. They face substantial fines if they fail to comply with the rules and end up contacting you.

Is there a Do Not Call List for cell phones?

FTC only has one National Do Not Call Registry. It does not have a “no call list for cell phones.” However, the Registry allows you to register your home and cell phone numbers.

After registration, you will notify telemarketers that you do not want to get unsolicited marketing calls from them.

National Do Not Call Register

It is free to register both your mobile or home phone number. Here is how to stop telemarketers from calling your cell phone.

  • Visit
  • Click on Register Your Phone.
  • Select Register Here.
  • Follow the registration steps by entering up to three phone numbers that you do not want telemarketers to use to call you. Also, provide your email address.
  • Click Submit.
  • If there are errors, check for them, and then click Register.
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Open your email address and click on the link sent to you by the registry. You have 72 hours to complete the registration. Ensure to provide the correct email address to make the registration seamless.

You can also register by phone number.

  • Call 1-888-382-1222 (TTY: 1-866-290-4236).
  • Ensure to call from the phone number you want to register with FTC’s Do Not Call Registry.

It is free to call 1-888-382-1222 to register your cell phone number.

Does the National Do Not Call List work?

Although the National Do Not Call List works to some extent, it does not work 100% of the time. It is impossible to prevent all unwanted calls.

That is because the Registry does not stop specific organizations from calling you. Even if you register your number, this will not apply to political parties, charity establishments, and other entities that are conducting a survey.

Furthermore, expect to receive a call from debt collectors. Your number may also be on the Registry, but a company can continue calling you to sell you a product or service.

That can happen if you have an established business relationship with the company that has been going on for the last 18 months.

In other words, you rented or bought something from the company in the last 18 months. Or, you have given it written permission to call you.

Why do you still get calls while on the Do Not Call List

The following are reasons why Do Not Call List is not working on your phone number:

  • You are receiving a political call.
  • It’s a charity call.
  • You’ve worked, purchased, or rented the company’s product in the last 18 months.
  • You are receiving a call from a debt collector.
  • You called a telemarketer in response to an ad on TV, in a magazine, on the internet, or in other media.
  • It’s a call about your treatment, case management, or health benefits.
  • You are getting spam calls.
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Sometimes you may also be getting a pre-recorded call. Even in that case, the telemarketer must have prior written consent from you.

How to check if a number is on the Do Not Call List

Here is how you can verify if your number is on the Do Not Call List:

  • Go to
  • Enter the phone number(s) you would like to verify.
  • Provide your email address too.
  • Click Submit.
  • Confirm whether you have provided the correct details.

You will receive an email with the information you need.

Alternatively, call 1-888-382-1222 to verify whether your number(s) is on the Registry.

How long does a number stay on the Do Not Call List?

no call

After registering your home or cell phone number with the Registry, it will prevent telemarketers from calling you as long as it remains registered. In other words, your registration does not expire, even if you placed the number with the Commission years ago.

The only exception is when the number is either reassigned or disconnected. You can also ask FTC to remove it, thus allowing marketers to sell you their products or services.

What happens if you call someone on the Do Not Call List?

If a telemarketer calls you and you have:

  • Placed your number on the Do Not Call Registry.
  • Given prior notice to not receive sales calls.
  • Do not have an established business relationship with the telemarketer.

In any of the three instances above, the telemarketer may be liable for violating the Do Not Call rules.

But there are instances where a telemarketer can call your phone number even if it is on the Registry. In that case, the individual or company must:

  • Not ask for any payment in advance.
  • Inform you they are making a sales call on behalf of a charity.
  • Give you the name of the charity or seller.
  • The goods or services it is selling
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If you think an entity has violated your telemarketing rights, you can report it to the FTC to allow them to take legal action. Call 1-888-382-1222, TTY 1-866-290-4236, or go to to file a complaint.

In conclusion

If you do not want telemarketers to contact you, register your phone number with the National Do Not Call List. It is a registry that prevents sales agents or companies from calling you and selling you their goods or services.

In case they fail to comply, you can report them to the FTC by calling 1-888-382-1222, TTY 1-866-290-4236, or visiting and filing your complaint.


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