New industry-wide requirements for toll-free messaging

New industry-wide requirements for toll-free messaging
October 09, 2023
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Effective January 31, 2024, messages sent from toll-free numbers pending verification will be blocked. Only fully verified toll-free phone numbers will be eligible to send messages. For more information, please check out our guide Toll-Free Message Verification for US/Canada.

New industry-wide requirements for toll-free messaging

As a result of industry-wide changes, on November 8, 2023, all restricted (formerly called “unverified”) toll-free numbers will require registration. In the future, messages sent from a toll-free number that has been submitted for registration and in the pending state will be blocked and subject to messaging fees. Pending messaging limits are also subject to change.

With the introduction of US A2P 10DLC routes in 2020, the messaging industry continued its shift towards a more compliant and transparent ecosystem for Application-to-Person (A2P) messaging. This April we communicated new industry requirements that made toll-free numbers the latest phone number types that required registration and vetting. These requirements are consistent with industry-wide, global moves to require registration for all A2P messaging traffic with the goal of drastically reducing spam and fraud.

While these changes add additional steps to start sending messages, they represent important efforts to preserve the value of business messaging and reduce the impact of bad actors on consumers. Consumers are understandably tired of the phishing scams, shady messaging practices, and the spam they receive, meaning that a handful of bad actors are eroding the trust that you’ve built with your customers. These compliance requirements are in place to eliminate bad actors and spam from the messaging ecosystem and ensure the trust of consumers. More stringent compliance and vetting requirements are just one of the many ways the industry is working to build Trusted Communications so that we can continue to engage with our customers and ensure they continue to trust the brands and organizations with whom they do business.

What do you need to do?

If you use restricted toll-free numbers to send messages and you haven’t submitted them for registration, you need to start the registration process today. To determine the status of your toll free numbers (restricted, pending review, or verified), head to the Phone Numbers section in Console. Review our Toll-Free Verification Console documentation to learn how to identify these numbers.

If you have restricted toll-free numbers, you’ll see a new badge next to “messaging capability”. You can start the registration process in Console or use our API solution, which we built for registering large volumes of toll-free numbers. For best practices and more information, review our Toll-Free Verification guide.

Active phone numbers in Twilio Console

Our vision for Trusted Communications

Registration and vetting is the first step in creating a global messaging ecosystem built on trust. With Trusted Communications, your consumers are more likely to trust that a call or text is legitimate, increasing engagement. This means that the communications that consumers engage with are more valuable for businesses because they are more likely to drive the intended action and ultimately build long standing loyalty. We continue to partner with the messaging ecosystem to build trust, advocate for our customers and consumers, and power innovation with software-based solutions to compliance, onboarding, and registration.