Feeling lost in a sea of 10DLC compliance guidelines? This guide breaks down everything business owners need to know about local numbers.
Getting a local phone number only takes a few minutes, and services like Google Voice will give you a free number for personal use.
But if you’re a business owner who wants to send text messages from a 10-digit local number — also known as a 10DLC number — there are rules and regulations you’ll need to follow. Not following them could lead to carrier filtering and added fees for each message you send.
We’ll give you an overview of why these rules are necessary, how to register your 10DLC number, and guidelines for sending compliant messages.
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Until a few years ago, wireless carriers didn’t allow businesses to text from local numbers. You could only text from shared short codes (5- or 6-digit numbers used by multiple organizations), but these numbers became a target for SMS spammers.
In 2019, wireless carriers began rolling out 10-digit local code (10DLC) services to allow businesses to send messages from approved local numbers through an SMS platform. Because 10DLC numbers are regulated by wireless carriers, consumers receive fewer spam messages. It’s a win-win.
At SimpleTexting, we welcomed the launch of 10DLC with open arms. It was the dawn of a new era, and that era is marked by less spam.
Spam in text message marketing degrades consumers’ trust in SMS, and they may come to resent it (like robocalls or junk email). That would mean our customers’ SMS marketing campaigns would be less successful in the future. We’re committed to making sure that doesn’t happen.
To help prevent spammers from using 10DLC, all numbers must be registered with The Campaign Registry (TCR) — the organization that handles registration for wireless carriers.
Getting your 10DLC number registered is essential if you want to send messages without carrier filtering or added fees.
When you sign up for SimpleTexting, we handle the registration process for you.
We’ll ask you for three pieces of information: your business’ contact and location information, your messaging use case, and an example of a message you would send.
1. Business Information
Business information includes:
2. Use Case
Your messaging use case is what you’ll be using your 10DLC number for. Most often, use cases fall under these categories:
There are two other categories, known as Special Use Cases, that have additional requirements and fees for registration. These include:
3. Example Text Message
We’ll ask you for an example text message you plan to send. This gives TCR an idea of what your contacts can expect to receive from you.
You can write an example message from scratch, or you can provide a message you’ve already sent to your contacts. If you’re stumped on an example text, check out our SMS templates for inspiration.
After we receive your business information, use case, and example text message, we send it to TCR to process your registration. Typically, it only takes a few minutes to be approved.
Industry organizations, mobile carriers, and U.S. governing bodies create rules and guidelines about what business texts should or shouldn’t include. This is to keep consumers safe and to prevent spammers and scammers from using the channel to harass or defraud people.
💡We have an entire guide dedicated to text messaging compliance and the groups who oversee and enforce it.
No matter what number type you choose for SMS, it’s critical that you abide by the regulations and laws to prevent your messages from being blocked and to avoid fines.
Here’s an overview of the texting rules you’ll need to follow:
Disclaimer: Please note that this advice is for informational purposes only and is neither intended as nor should be substituted for consultation with appropriate legal counsel and/or your organization’s regulatory compliance team.
Who needs to register for 10DLC?
Businesses that send SMS to people in the U.S. from a 10-digit local number must register with The Campaign Registry.
What happens if I don’t register for 10DLC?
If you don’t register your 10DLC number, carriers may filter or block your messages and charge additional fees.
In the future, unregistered businesses using long codes to send messages to the U.S. may be banned altogether.
Can I register my 10DLC number directly with The Campaign Registry?
We don’t recommend registering your number directly with The Campaign Registry. If you do, you won’t be able to use your number with SimpleTexting. Our team handles the entire registration process for you.
How much does it cost to register a 10DLC number?
You’ll pay a $4 one-time registration fee, plus a $10 monthly fee to maintain your number with carriers. If you’re planning to send a large volume of messages, you’ll need to go through a vetting process, which carries a one-time fee of $40.
Do I have to get my number verified if I only send messages to contacts in Canada?
No. At the moment, Canadian mobile carriers don’t require registration for local numbers.
Have more questions about 10DLC compliance and registration? Click on the chat box in the bottom right corner to reach a member of our customer support team, or email us at [email protected].
Dani Henion is the content team lead at SimpleTexting and is continuously looking for ways to make text messaging strategies and tips more accessible to SMBs. When she's not writing or planning new SMS content, you'll find her decorating elaborate sugar cookies or thrifting in Atlanta.More Posts from Dani Henion
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