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Rules for sending SMS to the US mobile phones

Rules for sending SMS to the US

The US has recently brought in much tougher regulations for sending business to consumer texts. The new rules affect both marketing and transactional texts.

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is the law that sets out the rules for sending SMS and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has the power to impose fines on organisations that break the rules.

Until recently we’ve been able to deliver texts to US mobiles without the need for any sort of additional registration.

That has now changed and registration is required before any text will be delivered. Texts that have not been sent by a registered sender will not be delivered, frustratingly.

What is the registration process for sending business texts to US mobiles?

If you want to continue to send SMS to US mobile you need to register. To do that you simply need to complete a form asking you to confirm a number of details. (Details of how to get the form are at the end of this article.)

Most of the questions are pretty straightforward like your business name, contacts details, what you intend to use SMS for etc. Pretty simple stuff.

What the regulator is particularly strict with is ensuring that you have obtained the customers’ permission to send them texts.

They require evidence in the form of either a screenshot or a web site URL where customers have specifically opted in. It’s not acceptable to have some implied opt in, or an opt is included in terms and conditions of service.

You need to be very specific and very precise. Anything that is less than crystal clear will be rejected.

Once you have completed the form, we will submit it on your behalf. To receive the registration form, please email [email protected]

Do you have to register for sending transactional texts to US mobile phones

Yes, you do need to register for all transactional SMS sent to US mobiles. 

That includes one time passwords for verifying new users, account access or passcodes for purchases.

Even if the text is a one off and you’ll never send another text again, you still have to provide proof of opt in order to send the OTP.

How long does the registration process take?

Once the form has been submitted to us, the registration process takes about 30 days but can be longer in some instances.

If you have any queries or to obtain a copy of the registration from, please contact us, [email protected]

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Henry Cazalet Managing Director
Co-founder and Director of The SMS Works, a low cost and powerful SMS API for developers. About Henry