Everything You Need To Know About Automated Dialing Laws

The Supreme Court ruled on April 1, 2021 that the TCPA only applies to auto dialing systems that have the ability to store or produce telephone numbers using a random or sequential number generator. 

This ruling is one example of a law you must be aware of and adhere to regarding auto dialing calls. In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about automated dialing calls and laws.

What is Considered Auto Dialing?

Auto Dialing, according to Federal Regulations, is equipment which has the capacity to store or produce telephone numbers to be called using a random or sequential number generator to dial such numbers. 

Is It Legal To Use an Auto Dialer?

Yes, using an auto dialer is legal, as long as you comply with the federal regulations and state regulations. These laws change often, so it’s important to stay up-to-date with them to ensure you are legally making calls.

Can Auto Dialers Call Cell Phones?

Yes, as of April 1st 2021, businesses are permitted to contact consumers on their cell phones via call or text, without consent under federal law and the new TCPA ruling. This can be done as long as they are certain that their auto dialing system lacks the capacity to store or generate sequential phone numbers. 

The new ruling, however, only clarifies one piece of the TCPA: the Automatic Telephone Dialing System (ATDS) definition. Therefore any pre-recorded calls, IVR, ringless voicemails, and DNC calls are still subject to the TCPA and will still require written consent.

Auto Dialer Laws You Are Required To Follow

It’s very important to follow the specific auto dialer laws nationwide and by state, since they tend to change often and fall under one of the below regulations:

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
The Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR)

Below are some key federal auto dialer laws to be aware of:

Time of Day You Can Call

It’s very important that you are aware of the time of day you are legally allowed to make calls. You are not allowed to make calls prior to 8:00am or after 9:00pm. The time zone is based on the recipient’s location, not yours.

You Cannot Call These Organizations

You are not allowed to auto dial the following:

  • Hospitals
  • 911
  • Police
  • Emergency line of any type

Abandoned Calls

Abandoned calls are considered abandoned if they are not connected to a live sales representative within two seconds of the called person’s completed greeting. Of your total calls, no more than 3% can be abandoned.

Do Not Call List (DNC)

The Do Not Call List prohibits you from auto dialing anyone on this national list. Additionally, if anyone requests you not to call them, you are prohibited from calling them again. This FTC rule applies to both individuals and entities. 

Pre-Recorded Messages

For an auto dialer call to leave a voice message, you must:

  • Have prior written consent
  • Include an opt-out option

Informational messages must be providing just that – information and cannot be an attempt to sell a service or to sell a product. 

Deceptive Practices Are Prohibited

If you are selling services or items to someone, it is required that you provide a clear description of these services / items prior to receiving the payment. This includes things such as the total cost and refunds. 

You Must Disclose Your Identity and Services

The TSR requires anyone making an auto dialer call to disclose the following:

  • Your identity
  • Services or items being sold
  • Description of the services or items being sold

Auto Dialer Laws By State

While most states fall under the federal auto dialer laws, some states do also have their own regulations and laws that you must adhere to when making calls. These states include:


Are There Exceptions To The Above Auto Dialer Laws?

Yes, there are a few exceptions to the auto dialer laws mentioned above. For individuals or organizations who sell investments, you might need to adhere to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) rather than the TSR. 

Business-to-business (B2B) calls are sometimes exempt from the TSR, however, this will depend entirely on the subject of the call. 

Healthcare organizations, charitable fundraising, and calls providing updates on a prior sale are exempt from pre-recorded message requirements mentioned above.

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