Telemarketer FAQs

About the National Do Not Call List (DNCL)

What is the National Do Not Call List (DNCL)?

The National Do Not Call List (DNCL) gives consumers a choice about whether to receive telemarketing calls. The Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules, of which the National DNCL Rules are a component, set out responsibilities for Canada’s telemarketers and clients of telemarketers.

As a telemarketer, or a client of a telemarketer, you need to be aware of your responsibilities regarding the use of the National DNCL.

How do I access the National DNCL?

You access it online at the National DNCL Web site by registering your organization and purchasing a subscription.

Why was the National DNCL created and who manages it?

To give consumers the ability to reduce the number of telemarketing calls they receive, the federal government passed a law in 2005 to allow the creation of a National DNCL that all telemarketers must respect and use.

Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Consulting Inc. has been contracted by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to act as the National DNCL Operator. The National DNCL Rules are enforced by the CRTC.

The National DNCL Rules

What are the National DNCL Rules?

The National DNCL Rules are a subset of the CRTC’s Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules. The Rules require that telemarketers who call on their own behalf and organizations who engage a third party to call on their behalf (client of a telemarketer) subscribe to, pay fees for, and access the National DNCL. The National DNCL Rules prohibit telemarketers and clients of telemarketers from calling telephone numbers that have been registered on the National DNCL for more than 31 days. All telemarketers and clients of telemarketers must follow these Rules unless they are making calls that are specifically exempted from the National DNCL Rules.

What are the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules?

The Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules include the Telemarketing Rules, the Automatic Dialing-Announcing Device (ADAD) Rules and the National DNCL Rules. All telemarketers and clients of telemarketers must follow the Telemarketing Rules and the ADAD Rules regardless of whether they are making calls that are specifically exempted from the National DNCL Rules. The ADAD rules also contain provisions which apply to calls which are not telemarketing. The full set of Rules can be found on the Telemarketing information page in the Consumers section of the CRTC website. You can also read a condensed version of the Rules in the National Do Not Call List and Telemarketing Rules.

Are all unsolicited calls considered to be telemarketing calls?

No, not all unsolicited calls are telemarketing calls. Calls that are not considered telemarketing calls, and do not need to follow the National DNCL Rules but may need to follow the ADAD Rules include:

  • product recall calls
  • appointment reminder calls
  • calls related to payment or bill collections
  • public service announcements
  • calls for the sole purposes of market research, surveys or public opinion polls

Please refer to National Do Not Call List Exemptions for more details.

Do the Rules extend to telemarketers from outside of Canada?

Yes. The Rules apply regardless of where the call originates. Telemarketers calling Canadian consumers from outside of Canada must comply with the National Do Not Call List Rules.

My company makes telemarketing calls for other organizations. Do I have any responsibilities under the National DNCL Rules?

Companies who make telemarketing calls on behalf of other organizations are telemarketers. You must ensure that any client for whom you make telemarketing calls is registered with the National DNCL Operator. If the telemarketing calls you are making are not exempt from the National DNCL Rules you must ensure your client is subscribed to the National DNCL. You must keep records of your clients’ registrations and subscriptions for a period of three years.

Registration and Subscription

Who must register with the National DNCL Operator?

Organizations on whose behalf telemarketing is conducted, whether done by themselves or through a third party, must register their organization’s information with the National DNCL.

Even if the calls you make directly, or that are made on your behalf are exempted, you must still register.

What information are you required to provide for registration?

You will be asked to provide the following information during the registration process. You may want to print this page and gather the required information prior to starting the registration process. If your session times out before you have completed registration, no information will be saved, and you will need to start again.

  • Business information:
    • Business legal name
    • Business operating name
    • Name of parent company
    • Business address
    • Business telephone number
    • Business website
  • Account manager contact information for up to three (3) contacts. The account manager(s) will receive account notifications and are the only contact(s) authorized to make changes to the account profile or to request technical assistance:
    • Name
    • Business mailing address
    • Business phone number
    • Business e-mail address
    • Language preference
  • Telemarketer context:
    • Description of telemarketing activities performed by your organization
    • Business names used/displayed while making telemarketing calls
    • Telephone numbers used/displayed while making telemarketing calls
  • Account password

Who must subscribe to and access the National DNCL?

Organizations on whose behalf non-exempt telemarketing calls are made, whether done by themselves or through a third party.

The following chart describes which organizations must register on, subscribe to and access the National DNCL:

Type of Organization Required to Register? Required to Subscribe?
Telemarketers making telemarketing calls on their own behalf that are not exempt under the National DNCL Rules. Yes Yes
Telemarketers making telemarketing calls on their own behalf that are exempt under the National DNCL Rules. Yes Yes
Clients engaging telemarketer(s) to make telemarketing calls that are not exempt under the National DNCL Rules. Yes Yes
Telemarketers solely making telemarketing calls on behalf of clients that are not exempt under the National DNCL Rules. No. Required only if the clients authorize them to access the clients' National DNCL subscription(s). No. They can access using their client's subscription(s)
Clients engaging telemarketer(s) to make telemarketing calls that are exempt under the National DNCL Rules. Yes Yes
Telemarketers solely making telemarketing calls on behalf of clients that are exempt under the National DNCL Rules. Yes Yes
Organizations who do not make telemarketing calls but who provide services to the telemarketing industry and as such, require access to the National DNCL. No. Required only if the clients authorize them to access the clients' National DNCL subscription(s) No. They can access using their client's subscriptions.

What is the identification validation process with Dun & Bradstreet® (D&B®)?

All new telemarketers, clients of telemarketers, or third party organizations are subject to an identification validation process prior to obtaining access to the National DNCL. The identification validation process is performed in conjunction with Dun & Bradstreet® (D&B®). Registration information you provide to the National DNCL Operator is transmitted to D&B® and compared with information in the D&B® database. If a match between the registration information provided to the National DNCL Operator and D&B® is found, the registration process continues. If no match is found, contact information for D&B® will be provided to establish a record. This record is called a D&B D-U-N-S® Number. Once a D&B D-U-N-S® Number is established, please return to the National DNCL website and re-start the registration process.

How does the identification validation process work?

Certain information you provide the National DNCL Operator is transmitted to D&B® for validation against their database. The information transmitted to D&B® is limited to your business legal name, parent company legal name, business operating name, and address information. This information is compared to information contained in the D&B® database. If a match between the registration information provided to the National DNCL operator and D&B® is found, the registration process continues. If no match is found, contact information for D&B® will be provided to establish a record. This record is called a D&B D-U-N-S® Number. Once a D&B D-U-N-S® Number is established, please return to the National DNCL website and re-start the registration process.

How do I register with Dun & Bradstreet® (D&B®)?

The D&B® database contains records for over 1.3 million businesses in Canada and over 140 million businesses worldwide. There is a good chance that you or your organization is already part of the D&B® database. If you receive a message that no match was found after attempting to register with the National DNCL Operator, you will be provided with contact information for D&B®. D&B® can accept your registration request either by phone or web. Once you have registered with D&B® and have received your D&B D-U-N-S® Number, please return to the National DNCL website and re-start the registration process.

Using the National Do Not Call List (DNCL)

What do these terms mean? Registration Access Number, Subscription Access Number and Download Key

Registration Access Number

When you register, you receive a Registration Access Number, which is a unique identifier for your registration on the National DNCL. It becomes your user-ID on the National DNCL. You’ll create a password for that user-ID to access your National DNCL account.

Subscription Access Number

Each subscription to the National DNCL that you purchase is given a unique identifier known as a Subscription Access Number.

Download Key

Each subscription to the National DNCL that you purchase is given a unique Download Key. The Download Key allows you to give third parties working on your behalf (such as telemarketing agencies or list scrubbing services) access to your subscription

What are the subscription options?

There are two subscription options for accessing telephone numbers on the National DNCL: Query and Download.

Query subscription

Lets you check up to 100 numbers at a time in any combinations of area codes to determine if those numbers are on the National DNCL.

Download subscription

Lets you download a file containing a list of telephone numbers that are registered on the National DNCL to compare with your calling list. The Download subscription is available for a 1-, 3-, 6- or 12-month period. You can purchase the entire list for Canada, which includes the numbers registered in all of the area codes, or you can purchase only numbers contained in the area codes that cover your marketing territory.

What are the subscription rates?

Subscription option – Download by area code
All area codes
Number of area codes Annual 6-months 3-months 1-month
Total Fee Payable $48,047 $29,252 $15,799 $5,339
National DNCL List Operator Fee $26,341 $16,041 $8,664 $2,927
CRTC – Unsolicited Telecommunications Fee $21,706 $13,211 $7,135 $2,412
By individual area code
Number of area codes Annual 6-months 3-months 1-month
Total Fee Payable $2,875 $1,490 $760 $257
National DNCL List Operator Fee $1,577 $814 $416 $142
CRTC – Unsolicited Telecommunications Fee $1,298 $676 $344 $115
Subscription option – Query by telephone number
Telephone number query Per query
Any area code (maximum 100 queries per query session) $0.50

Using your subscription

Can I pay for one subscription and share it with another company, industry association, or affiliates?

No. The National DNCL Rules prohibit subscribers from selling, renting, leasing, publishing or otherwise disclosing the National DNCL or any portion thereof to any person outside their organization, including any affiliate. Members of an association are usually separate legal entities. Each member is required to register and purchase their own subscription.

Can a third-party company scrub the calling lists for subscribers to the National DNCL?

Yes. The National DNCL Rules allow a subscriber to share the National DNCL, or any portion thereof, with a third party who provides services to help them comply with the National DNCL Rules.

For example, a subscriber can hire a third party, and allow them to access the National DNCL directly on behalf of the subscriber or the subscriber can provide them with a copy of the list.

The third party must also register their own information with the National DNCL Operator if they are accessing the National DNCL directly on behalf of the subscriber. When the third party signs into their account, they will add their client’s subscription to their subscription list. To do this they will need:

  • the subscriber’s Registration Access Number
  • the subscriber’s Subscription Access Number
  • the subscriber’s Download Key for each subscription they will access

If you are a third-party offering to scrub calling lists for other organizations, each organization needs to register with the National DNCL Operator and have an active subscription.

I previously gave an external organization access to my Download subscription. How do I now remove their access?

You control access to each of your download subscriptions using the Download Key. You can regenerate a new Download Key which renders the previous Key inactive. Any third-parties who have the old Download Key will not be able to access your download subscription.

What are the format options for the download files?

You can choose from 2 different file formats:

  • Comma-separated Value (CSV) format, also known as a "Flat Text File"
  • Extensible Markup Language (XML) Tagged File
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