United States SMS/MMS compliance

If you're using SMS/MMS or Voice calling for your business in the United States, it's important to know about the laws that govern it. Just like with email, you want to avoid sending spam to people, as this can damage your business’s reputation and even lead to fines.

In this guide, we're going to take a look at the most important US laws pertaining to SMS/MMS & Voice communication.

Select one of the topics below to jump right in:

We’ll also explore some best practices and guidelines that you should follow when sending SMS messages and placing Voice calls in the US.

Find out about some of the key terminology that we use, discover how MessageBird helps, or check out our FAQs.

How does MessageBird help?

  • We allow you to embed opt-in/out mechanisms within your messaging templates. You can also do this via our API.

  • We support SMS/MMS opt-out keywords. We also support various options for Voice call opt-outs such as IVRs, and opt-out announcements.

  • We maintain an internal database of Do-Not-Call or Message numbers based, in part, on notices from regulatory authorities and operators, and automatically deflect from placing such calls, we also help you record customers' opt-in/out on a number level to avoid contacting them in the future.

  • Our smart routing engine respects time-of-day restrictions, where we match against messaging destination and decide whether to dispatch the message immediately or schedule it to be sent during non-quiet hours.

  • Our content detection and filtration mechanisms are able to detect customers sending restricted content and notify/block those types of SMS/MMS.

  • We offer flexible call recording consent mechanisms that helps businesses to comply with local laws.

Key terminology

Permission that a contact gives you, either via paper form or electronically, that shows they understand and agree to receive marketing SMS/MMS text messages or telemarketing voice calls from your business.


An action that a contact takes to affirmatively agree to receive marketing SMS/MMS text messages or telemarketing voice calls from a business.


An action that a contact takes to withdraw permission for a business to send marketing SMS/MMS text messages or place telemarketing voice calls to them.

Promotional messages

SMS/MMS text messages that are meant to promote, sell or upsell a product, service, or business. Businesses must receive express consent to send promotional text messages to a contact.

Transactional messages

SMS/MMS text messages that are sent to authenticate a customer (2FA) or send important alerts and notifications. Typically, you don't need to obtain consent to send transactional messages to your customers, but you must still provide recipients with a way to opt-out.

In the United States, there are restrictions on the type of content that you can send to your customers, regardless of the channel that you use to communicate with them. Below, you can find detailed information about these general content restrictions.


We hope these guidelines help our customers to comply with applicable laws. Although we have taken great care to ensure these guidelines reflect our current understanding of US SMS & Voice regulations, these guidelines are not a substitute for legal advice.

We cannot guarantee that these guidelines are at all times comprehensive, up-to-date, or accurate. By posting these guidelines, we make no assurances regarding the legal compliance of your use of our platform and APIs. If you have questions about compliance with applicable laws, please consult with your legal counsel.

As the regulatory landscape continues to evolve, we recommend checking these pages frequently for updates, as the provided information may be revised or amended without warning.

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