Telephone Consumer Protection Act Law and Legal Definition

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is a U.S. federal law that was enacted in 1991. This law governs the conduct of telephone solicitations. The TCPA amended the Communications Act of 1934. The provisions of the Act are primarily found under 47 USCS 227.

The TCPA limits the use of automatic dialing systems, artificial or prerecorded voice messages, SMS text messages received by cell phones, and the use of fax machines to send unsolicited advertisements. Additionally, the Act includes several technical requirements for fax machines, autodialers, and voice messaging systems. For example, the TCPA includes provisions requiring identification and contact information of the entity using the device to be contained in the message.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules prohibiting telephone solicitation calls to a residence before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. was enacted pursuant to the TCPA. However, in 2003, the FCC revised its rules implementing the TCPA and, together with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), established a national Do-Not-Call Registry.