Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)
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Frequently Asked Questions

About the National Do Not Call List (DNCL)

The National DNCL Rules

Exemptions to the National DNCL Rules

Registration and Subscription

Using the National Do Not Call List (DNCL)

Using your subscription

Signing in

Technical Assistance

Downloading lists

About the National Do Not Call List (DNCL)

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

The National DNCL is a list of telephone numbers from consumers who have chosen to reduce the number of telemarketing calls they receive. Most organizations that make telemarketing calls are required to remove telephone numbers on the National DNCL from their calling lists.

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How do I access the National DNCL?

You access it online at the National DNCL Web site.

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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.

Bell Canada was 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

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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.

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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.

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What are the definitions of terms used in the National DNCL Rules.

Telemarketing
Telemarketing is the use of telecommunications facilities to make telephone calls or send faxes to consumers for the purpose of solicitation. Solicitation covers a wide range of activities, including sales calls, prospecting calls, and calls for charitable donations or volunteers. Any organization has the potential to be a telemarketer.
Solicitation
Solicitation is the act of selling or promoting a product or service – or requesting money or “money’s worth” – directly or indirectly, for oneself or for another party.
Telemarketer
If you make telemarketing calls or send telemarketing faxes on your own behalf or on behalf of one or more other businesses (i.e. clients), then you are a telemarketer.
Client of a telemarketer
If you engage a third party to make telemarketing calls or send telemarketing faxes on your behalf, then you are a client of a telemarketer. The third party must also comply with Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules.
Scrubbing
This is an industry term that describes removing telephone numbers on the National DNCL from a telemarketer’s calling lists.
Express consent
This is permission given by a consumer to a telemarketer for receiving telemarketing calls from that telemarketer and for receiving telemarketing calls via an ADAD.
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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
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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.

Exemptions to the National DNCL Rules

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Do all telemarketing calls fall under the National DNCL Rules?

No, some types of telemarketing calls are exempt.

These types of telemarketing calls are exempt from the National DNCL Rules:

  • calls made by or on behalf of:
    • Canadian registered charities
    • political parties, riding associations, and candidates
    • newspapers of general circulation for the purpose of soliciting subscriptions
  • calls made to:
    • consumers with whom you have an existing business relationship
    • consumers who have provided express consent for receiving telemarketing calls
    • business consumers

In all cases these types of telemarketing calls must follow the National DNCL Rules:

  • calls offering to sell goods or services
  • calls requesting the consumer to attend an information session
  • calls that offer free goods or samples as part of a sales campaign
  • calls offering anything for "free" that is conditional on a purchase

The full set of Rules can be found on the Telemarketing information page in the Consumers section of the CRTC website. For a simplified explanation of the exemptions, go to Exemptions on the National DNCL Web site.

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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 make sure 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 make sure your client is subscribed to the National DNCL. You must keep records of your clients’ registrations and subscriptions.

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My organization already operates an internal do not call list. Do we need to subscribe to and access the National DNCL?

Yes. If you are making non-exempt telemarketing calls, you must subscribe to and access the National DNCL and scrub the telephone numbers from your calling list.

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My organization makes only exempt telemarketing calls. Do I still have to maintain an internal do not call list?

Yes, all telemarketers must maintain an internal do not call list whether or not they are making exempt calls.

Consumers can contact you directly to put their numbers on your internal do not call list, or they can ask you to add their number to your list during the call. You must oblige.

Registration and Subscription

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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.

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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:
List of organizations to register on the 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 No
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 No
Telemarketers solely making telemarketing calls on behalf of clients that are exempt under the National DNCL Rules. No No
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.

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I am a telemarketing agency and make calls on behalf of clients. Do I need to register and/or subscribe to the National DNCL?

No, you are not required to register or subscribe. The Rules state that telemarketers must not make calls on behalf of clients if that client is not registered with the National DNCL. The client may request that the telemarketer register with the National DNCL in order to have direct access to the client’s subscription, but that is strictly an arrangement between the client and the telemarketer.

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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 in order 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.

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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 in order 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.

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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)

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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 userid on the National DNCL. You’ll create a password for that userid 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.
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What type of information do I need to provide when I register?

To register, you must provide identifying information about your organization, including a legal name and address; telephone numbers; operating names; contact names; and, a telemarketing profile. The full list can be found in Register Your Organization on the National DNCL Web site.

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How long does my registration last?

Registration lasts for 12 months. When your registration is about to expire, the National DNCL Operator will send an e-mail to all of the contact names listed on your account reminding you to re-register your organization by reviewing and updating your organization’s profile.

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What does my subscription enable me to do?

If you’re a telemarketer making non-exempt calls on your own behalf or a client of a telemarketer, you must subscribe to the National DNCL, and pay for that subscription. No more than 31 days prior to making telemarketing calls, you must access the National DNCL, and remove all the numbers registered on the National DNCL from your own calling lists.

Different subscription options are available depending on your organization’s requirements.

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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.
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What are the subscription rates?

Subscription option – Download by area code
Number of area codesAnnual6-months3-months1-month
All area codes
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
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

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Why were the subscription rates split in two commencing 1 April 2013?

Prior, to 1 April 2013, the National DNCL investigation and enforcement activities had been funded by interim measures. As a result of amendments to the Telecommunications Act, made in 2012, the CRTC was given the authority to make regulations prescribing fees to be paid by any person subscribing to the National DNCL, and delegate the power to collect fees that it has prescribed in such regulations to a delegate. Accordingly, the CRTC has established a National DNCL cost-recovery regime for its investigation and enforcement activities. Under the new regime, which commenced 1 April 2013, the National DNCL List Operator is authorized to recover the CRTC's investigation and enforcement costs from telemarketers at the same time that it charges them the List Operator's subscription rates to access and download the National DNCL.

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What methods can I use to pay for my subscription?

For any subscription, you can pay using a MasterCard, Visa, or American Express credit card through a secure online payment system. For Download subscriptions only, you can also pay by electronic funds transfer.

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When does my subscription to the National DNCL expire?

It depends. Query subscriptions are "pay as you go," so once you have concluded your query session, the subscription ends.

Download subscriptions last for a specific time period. When your Download subscription is about to expire, the National DNCL Operator will send a reminder e-mail to the contact names listed on the account.

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What happens when my Download subscription expires?

To continue making non-exempt telemarketing calls, you must renew your subscription or create a new subscription.

Using your subscription

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Can I add new area codes to my download subscription?

No. If your marketing territory changes, you must create a new subscription for the area codes in your new territory. Also, you cannot change the area codes during the duration of a subscription.

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What area codes are included in the National DNCL?

The National DNCL contains all active Canadian area codes including the special use areas codes 500 and 600.

500 or 600 area codes are non-geographic telephone numbers that can be in use anywhere in North America. If you are making telemarketing calls to Canadian consumers with 500 or 600 area codes, the National DNCL rules still apply.

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How can I see all the download subscriptions I have purchased?

Sign in online, then select "Access Subscriptions" in the left-hand menu.

A page is displayed that lists all the active and expired subscriptions associated with your Registration Access Number. You can click on a subscription to display details about that subscription, including the expiry date and area codes.

Signing in

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What do I need to sign onto the National DNCL Web site?

To sign in, you need your Registration Access Number and the password you created.

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What should I do when a password has been entered incorrectly too many times?

For security reasons, after 3 consecutive unsuccessful sign-in attempts, the account will be locked. To unlock the account, one of the Account Managers listed on your profile must contact the National DNCL Centre of Excellence. To contact the Centre of Excellence:

  1. Click support@req.lnnte-dncl.gc.ca to open an e-mail to request technical assistance.
    In the e-mail, include:
    • Your Registration Access Number
    • Your name
    • Your organization’s legal name as it appears on your account
    • Account Manager contact information for one of the account managers listed on your account
    • The request to unlock your account
  2. Send the e-mail.

Technical assistance is available Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm (for each time zone in Canada), excluding statutory holidays.

During operational hours, the Centre of Excellence responds to requests for assistance via e-mail within 2 hours of receiving your e-mail. Otherwise, the Centre of Excellence responds within 2 hours of the start of normal business hours.

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I forgot my password. What should I do?

If you forgot your password:

  1. Go to Sign In.
  2. Click on "Forgot Password?"
    • Enter your Registration Access Number.
    • Enter the legal name of your organization as it appears on your registration account.
    • Enter the e-mail address of one of the Account Managers listed on your account.
    • If there is a match with the e-mail address, the page will display a “Reset Password” button.
  3. Click "Reset Password".
  4. Enter your new password and confirm it by entering it again.
    • Passwords must:
    • be between 8 and 16 characters long
    • contain at least one numeric character
    • contain at least one uppercase alphabetic character
    • contain at least one lowercase alphabetic character
  5. Click "Submit".

You'll see a message indicating that the password has been changed. A notification e-mail will be sent to all Account Managers listed on file. This e-mail will not contain the password.

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How do I change the password?

To change your password:

  1. Go to Sign In.
  2. Select "Manage Account" from the left-hand menu.
  3. Click "Change Password".
    • Enter your current password.
    • Enter new password.
    • Enter the new password again.
    • Passwords must:
    • be between 8 and 16 characters long
    • contain at least one numeric character
    • contain at least one uppercase alphabetic character
    • contain at least one lowercase alphabetic character
  4. Click "Submit".

You’ll see a message indicating that the password has been changed. A notification e-mail will be sent to all Account Managers listed on file. This e-mail will not contain the password.

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After I sign in, is there a time limit for my session?

After 30 minutes of inactivity, your National DNCL session is automatically signed out. To continue using the National DNCL Web site, you must sign in again.

Technical Assistance

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How do I get technical assistance for the National DNCL?

You can get technical assistance through the National DNCL Centre of Excellence Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm (for each time zone in Canada), excluding statutory holidays. You submit all requests for technical assistance through e-mail to support@req.lnnte-dncl.gc.ca.

If you’re registered with the National DNCL, include in your e-mail:

  • Your Registration Access Number
  • Your name
  • Your organization’s legal name as it appears on your account
  • Account Manager contact information for one of the account managers listed on file
  • A description of the assistance you need


If you’re not registered with the National DNCL, include in your e-mail:

  • your name
  • your organizations' name
  • your e-mail address
  • a description of the assistance you need

During operational hours, the National DNCL Centre of Excellence responds to requests for assistance via e-mail within 2 hours of receiving your e-mail. Otherwise, the Centre of Excellence responds within 2 hours of the start of normal business hours.

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Can I phone for technical assistance?

No, technical assistance is available only through e-mail.

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Does the National DNCL Centre of Excellence provide technical assistance to consumers?

The Centre of Excellence provides technical assistance via e-mail only to registered organizations or those who want to register their organizations on the National DNCL.

The Centre of Excellence can help consumers register their number(s) on the National DNCL or lodge a complaint about a telemarketing call via phone only.

If you have any legal or policy questions, contact the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

Downloading lists

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When are the download lists updated and available?

Area-code lists are updated daily and are available for download after 6:00 am (ET) each day. If you download the list before 6:00 am, you’ll receive the previous day’s list. There is an hour and a half window some time between 12:01 am and 6:00 am daily where there are no lists available for download.

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How many times can I download a list each day?

You can download each subscription up to 3 times per day.

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Will I have to download a separate file for each area code I subscribe to?

If your Download subscription contains the full national list, you’ll get one compressed file containing a single file with all numbers registered on the National DNCL for Canada.

If your Download subscription contains multiple area codes, but not the full national list, you’ll download one compressed file containing individual files for each Canadian area code you have subscribed to.

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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

CSV File format

The complete list in flat text file format consists of a 3-digit Canadian area code followed by a 7-digit telephone number per line, with a linefeed at the end of each line, as shown:

416,1234567
416,1234568
416,1234569

XML Tagged File format

When the list is downloaded as an XML Tagged file, an element indicates what level and value of data are contained in the file.

For the complete national list, the level is "all" and the value is null (see Example 1).

For a single area code list, the level is "ac" and the value is the area code, such as 416 (see Example 2).

Example 1: National List

<list type='full' level='all' val='' >
<ac val='416'>
    <ph val='1234567' />
    <ph val='1234568' />
   <ph val='1234569' />
</ac>
</list>

Example 2: Single Area Code List

<list type='full' level='ac' val='416' >
<ac val='416'>
    <ph val='1234567' />
    <ph val='1234568' />
    <ph val='1234569' />
 </ac>
</list>

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I tried to download the National DNCL but the download didn’t happen.What should I do?

The National DNCL list is updated daily and is available for downloading after 6:00 am . There is an hour and a half window, some time between 12:01 am and 6:00am where there are no lists available for download. You may have tried downloading during this time. Try again, after 6:00 am.

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The files I downloaded are compressed. What software can I use to uncompress a file?

The National DNCL uses compressed files because they are quicker to download and take up less hard disk space.

You can use any standard software for uncompressing or unzipping downloaded files. Many people use the ZIP file format. If you don’t have this software installed on your computer, you can download it from one of the Web sites that offer such software:

Note: A quick search on the internet for "zip file" provides links to download other free and purchasable software that you can use to decompress the ZIP file and access the files within it. The CRTC and the National DNCL Operator do not endorse any Web sites, vendors or software products. This list is provided simply for your convenience.

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How do I uncompress a file?

This depends on your decompression software.

In some cases, you may need to rename the downloaded file to conform to the conventions of your decompression software. For example, you may need to rename the file so it has a .ZIP file extension. After you rename the file, then double-click on it to launch the decompression software. For details, check the documentation for your decompression software.

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I downloaded the National DNCL but the file was corrupted. What should I do?

You may receive a message stating that the National DNCL file you have downloaded is invalid or corrupted. For users of Internet Explorer (all versions), try downloading the file again, paying particular attention to the two dialogue boxes that appear after selecting "Download List".  The first dialogue box prompts you to "Run, Save, or Cancel". You must select the "Save" option. The second dialogue box prompts you to select a location to save the file. Browse to the desired location on your computer and select "Save". For security and performance reasons, you must respond to these two dialogue boxes within 30 seconds of their appearance, otherwise the file you download may be corrupted. If you use an internet browser other than Internet Explorer and continue receiving a corrupted version of the List, please contact the Centre of Excellence for support.