Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)
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National Do Not Call List Exemptions

Telemarketers should understand that there are certain kinds of telemarketing calls that are exempt from the National DNCL Rules.

The exemptions include telemarketing calls made by, or on behalf of:

  • Canadian registered charities;
  • Political parties, riding associations and candidates; and
  • Newspapers of general circulation for the purpose of soliciting subscriptions.

Telemarketing calls that are made to persons with whom there is an existing business relationship are also exempt. Telemarketers are free to call a consumer who:

  • Has purchased, leased, or rented a product or service from the telemarketer in the last 18 months;
  • Is in possession of a written contract with a telemarketer for a service that is still in effect or expired within the last 18 months; and/or
  • Has made an inquiry or has submitted an application to a telemarketer about a product or service within the last 6 months.

Telemarketers may also make calls to consumers if the consumer has provided express consent to be called. Express consent includes:

  • The consumer’s permission to be called on a written form, electronic form, or an online form; or
  • An audio recording of the consumer’s verbal permission, or a record of it verified by an independent third party.

The National DNCL Rules do not apply to telemarketing calls made to businesses.

All telemarketers and clients of telemarketers must keep an internal do not call list

Even if a telemarketer is making an exempted call, a consumer can ask the telemarketer to have their name and number put on the telemarketer’s own internal do not call list. Every Canadian telemarketer and client of a telemarketer – even those making exempt calls – is required to maintain such a list and respect a consumer’s wishes not to be called.

A telemarketer is required to place a consumer’s name and telephone number on their own do not call list within 14 days of the consumer’s request. If the telemarketer is calling on behalf of another organization, or a client, the telemarketer is required to ensure the consumer’s name and number is added to that organization’s or client’s own do not call list within 14 days. The consumer’s name and telephone number must stay on the internal do not call list for three (3) years.

Individuals and organizations placing calls for the sole purpose of market research, surveys, or public opinion polls are not considered to be telemarketing and are not required to keep internal do not call lists in respect of that type of call.

All telemarketers making exempt telemarketing calls must still identify the caller

At the beginning of an exempt telemarketing call, a telemarketer is required to identify the person or organization on whose behalf the call is being made.

Other types of calls that are exempt from the National DNCL Rules

Calls from organizations conducting market research, surveys, or public opinion polls are also exempt from the National Do Not Call List Rules. These types of calls are not telemarketing calls because consumers are not being asked to purchase, lease or rent products or services. Market research and polling firms are not required to keep internal do not call lists.

More information on National DNCL exemptions

The list of all exemptions to the National DNCL, except the exemption for telemarketing calls to business, can be found in section 41.7 of the Telecommunications Act. The definitions are also included in the Telecommunications Act. You can find more information concerning the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules, the National DNCL and telemarketing regulations on the Telemarketing information page in the Consumers section of the CRTC website.