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10DLC registration: How to get a local number for your business

Overwhelmed by 10DLC registration and compliance guidelines? This guide breaks down everything you need to know about local numbers.

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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 text from a 10DLC number — also known as a 10-digit local number or just a local number — you’ll need to register your number and follow compliance rules. Not registering your number can lead to blocked text messages and carrier filtering

Let’s look at what exactly 10DLC is, how to get and register a number, and which compliance rules apply to local numbers.

Table of contents

What is 10DLC?

10DLC refers to a 10-digit long code that’s approved for sending business texts from a local number. 

For instance, a number like 404-206-6179 (which has an Atlanta area code) could be registered with wireless carriers as a 10DLC number.

You may also hear people refer to 10DLC as A2P 10DLC messaging. A2P comes from the phrase “application to person,” which is a fancy way to describe businesses sending and receiving texts from messaging software.

3 benefits of 10DLC numbers:

  • You can choose a recognizable local area code, which increases trust with local customers.
  • They’re approved for sending high-volume bulk SMS.
  • They can send more messages per minute than personal local numbers, making them excellent for mass texting campaigns.

What can you send with 10DLC?

If 10DLC isn’t what you’re looking for, we can help you get a toll-free number or dedicated short code as well.

But if you’re ready to get your own 10DLC number, I’ll show you how in the next section.

2 ways to get a 10DLC number

During your 14-day free trial of SimpleTexting, you’ll receive a temporary 10DLC number to try out the platform.

When you upgrade to a paid SimpleTexting plan, you’ll see two options for 10DLC:

1. Select a new 10DLC number.

Enter a local area code, and select a number from our pool of 10-digit long codes. Once you’ve chosen your number, you’ll need to register it with wireless carriers. 

Our customer support team makes the process super easy and can get you up and running in a day or less.

I’ll give you a breakdown of the process in the section “How to register your 10DLC number.” 

2. Text-enable your existing 10DLC number with SimpleTexting.

Already have a number that you want to use in SimpleTexting? 

Start the process of text-enabling your number by chatting with our support team or adding a new number in your Settings panel. Text-enabling a number often only takes a day, but the process can take 3–5 business days if you’re transferring the number from another SMS provider.

We can also help you text-enable an existing Canadian number. Just reach out to our support team via chat or email. Canadian numbers typically take 7–10 days to transfer to SimpleTexting.

📚 Learn how to switch from a toll-free number to a local number.

Why do you need to register your 10DLC number?

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 compliance 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.

How to register your 10DLC number

To help prevent spammers from using 10DLC, all numbers must be registered with The Campaign Registry (TCR) — the organization that handles 10DLC registration for wireless carriers. 

Unlike some other leading SMS services, SimpleTexting can often get customers up and running with their new 10DLC in a day or less

After you upgrade to a paid SimpleTexting plan and select a local number, we’ll provide you with a 10DLC registration form in the app. Once you submit your information, we’ll work with TCR to get your business registered.

The 10DLC registration form will ask you for:

1. Your messaging use case

Your messaging use case is what you’ll be using your 10DLC number for. Most often, use cases fall under these categories:

  • 2FA: any authentication, verification, or one-time passcode
  • Account notifications: messages sent to contacts about their account
  • Customer care: messages related to customer support 
  • Delivery notifications: information about orders and deliveries
  • Fraud alert messaging: alerting customers to potential fraud 
  • Higher education: campaign sent by universities or colleges, can also include school districts and other education institutions
  • Marketing: any messaging that promotes your products or services
  • Polling and voting: non-political voting and surveys
  • Public service announcement: mass messaging to alert contacts to information that is of importance

There are two other categories, known as Special Use Cases, that have additional requirements and fees for 10DLC registration. These include:

  • Charity: messages that come from a charity aimed at providing help and raising money for those in need. You must be a registered 501c3 charity, and this doesn’t include religious organizations.
  • Emergency services: notifications during emergency situations that support public safety. This use case is restricted to government and healthcare organizations and requires a special business review from T-Mobile.

2. Two sample text messages

We’ll ask you for two example text messages 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.

3. Your opt-in method

Because businesses and organizations need to have permission to text people, you’ll need to share your opt-in method. An opt-in method is the way you invite people to consent to receive your text messages.

Examples of popular opt-in methods:

  • Text-to-join keywords
  • SMS web forms
  • Paper forms with a checkbox

💡 To find out what TCR’s opt-in requirements are, check out our opt-in methods guide.

The registration form also asks:

  • How many messages you expect to send each month
  • Whether you’ll send messages about direct lending or loan arrangements
  • If you’ll send messages with age-gated content (like alcohol promotions)

3. Business contact information

Next, you’ll provide your business’ primary contact and support details:

  • Business contact’s first and last name
  • Customer support email and number
  • Website

4. Organization name, industry, and EIN

The last page of the registration form will ask you to share your:

  • Organization or brand name
  • Legal company name (The business name registered with the IRS)
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Mobile carriers use your EIN to identify and verify your organizations. Contact the IRS if you have one but can’t find it, or apply for one online.

💁 If you have any questions about the registration form, our customer support team is available seven days a week to assist you.

Now, all you have to do is verify your information on the form summary page and hit Submit.

What to expect after submitting your 10DLC registration form

You’ve submitted your 10DLC registration form — now what? 

Our customer support team picks things up from here and works with TCR to register your business.  

1. SimpleTexting sends your application to TCR

After we receive your business information, use case, and example text messages, we send it to TCR to process your 10DLC registration.

2. TCR reviews your registration request

If TCR accepts your registration request and doesn’t need additional information, it generally takes only a few minutes to have your number activated.

Registration approval will be delayed if your business information and use case don’t match. Our team will reach out to you to work out any issues before submitting the case to TCR.

3. You’ll receive your 10DLC status

In the Numbers settings panel in your SimpleTexting dashboard, you’ll see whether your new number is:

  • Verified — your registration has been accepted, and your number is ready to use.
  • Needs Review — TCR wasn’t able to confirm your business details. Our customer support team will reach out to make sure your information is correct.

10DLC rules and guidelines

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.

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.

contact form with an SMS compliance statement
Example of an opt-in contact form with a compliance statement 

💡 We have an entire guide dedicated to text messaging compliance and the groups who oversee and enforce it. 

The top seven 10DLC rules:

  1. Get written consent from individuals before texting commercial messages to them with an SMS platform, even if you’ve already collected a customer’s information for another purpose. This is required by the U.S. Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
  2. Never buy lists of phone numbers and add them as contacts.
  3. Don’t send copyrighted or trademarked material that has not been licensed for your use.
  4. After a contact opts in to your SMS list, include information in the confirmation message about whether the consumer is agreeing to a single-message response or a recurring-messages campaign.
  5. For non-commercial, informational texts (such as those sent by or on behalf of tax-exempt non-profit organizations, political purposes, and other non-commercial purposes, like school closings) you still need prior express consent, but the consent does not necessarily need to be written.
  6. You can only send messages pertaining to alcohol to age-verified contacts.
  7. Don’t send confidential information, threats of violence, hate speech, or graphic violence.

Common 10DLC registration questions

What is 10DLC registration?
10DLC registration is the process of getting your 10 digit local code verified with The Campaign Registry. Wireless carriers require it to help make sure businesses and organizations are using text messaging in a responsible and compliant way.
Businesses that send SMS to people in the U.S. from a 10-digit local number must register with The Campaign Registry.
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.
How long your 10DLC registration takes depends on the SMS service provider you’re using. For instance, reviews for services like Twilio indicate that the process takes days or weeks. For SimpleTexting customers, 10DLC registration often takes a day or less.
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.
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. You’ll also pay carrier fees, which we pass through without a markup.
No. At the moment, Canadian mobile carriers don’t require registration for local numbers.
If you’d like to text-enable an existing Canadian number, reach out to our support team via the blue chat button at the bottom of your screen. You can also call or text us at (888) 663-6856.

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].

This article was published on January 11, 2023 by Dani Henion and updated on September 13, 2023. Nathan Ellering contributed to this piece.

Dani Henion
Dani Henion

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.

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