10DLC What You Need To Know

Many businesses have discovered the benefits of using messaging to create a top-notch customer experience (CX). However, as business text messaging has grown in volume, carriers have increased their scrutiny on business texting, also known as A2P texting.

Why is this happening? There are two primary reasons:

  1. Messaging is unregulated by the FCC. Thus, each carrier must ensure the ecosystem is free of unwanted messages and bad actors.
  2. Messaging has higher engagement rates compared to other channels (like email), which everyone wants to maintain.

To protect consumers, U.S. carriers have implemented 10-digit long codes, or 10DLC. This system requires businesses sending SMS and MMS over local phone numbers to register their brands and campaigns with The Campaign Registry (TCR). Unfortunately, there isn’t a built-in way to classify non-business messaging, so all messages are treated as A2P.

Those who don’t register will face penalties. Since March 1st, 2022, carriers like T-Mobile and AT&T have imposed surcharges and message fees for all unregistered traffic, leading to potential delivery issues and delays for your business.

Navigating the 10DLC requirements can be challenging. Accent is here to make the registration process as smooth as possible for you and your customers. We will guide you through everything you need to know to continue delivering excellent digital engagements while staying compliant with 10DLC.

What is 10DLC?

10DLC, or 10-digit long code, is a type of phone number specifically designed for business messaging in the United States. It allows businesses to send SMS and MMS messages to their customers via a standard 10-digit phone number, similar to those used for personal phone lines, but optimized for higher volume messaging traffic.

Key Characteristics of 10DLC:

  1. Standard 10-Digit Number: Unlike short codes (5-6 digits) or toll-free numbers, a 10DLC number is a standard 10-digit phone number that resembles regular landline or mobile numbers. These 10-digit numbers are more familiar to recipients as they use them every day.
  2. Business Messaging: 10DLC is intended for application-to-person (A2P) messaging, meaning messages sent from applications (like CRM systems or marketing platforms) to individuals.
  3. Higher Throughput: Compared to traditional long codes (which are designed for person-to-person messaging), 10DLC supports a higher throughput of messages, making it suitable for marketing campaigns, notifications, alerts, and other business communications.
  4. Compliance and Regulation: 10DLC numbers must be registered with mobile carriers, ensuring that businesses adhere to guidelines and regulations designed to prevent spam and fraudulent messaging. This registration process also allows carriers to monitor and manage messaging traffic more effectively.
  5. Cost-Effective: While short codes offer high throughput, they are often expensive and involve a longer setup process. 10DLC provides a more affordable and quicker alternative, especially for small to medium-sized businesses.
  6. Improved Deliverability: Due to its compliance with carrier regulations and higher throughput capabilities, 10DLC often results in better deliverability rates for business messages compared to traditional long codes.

Sample Use Cases for 10DLC:

  • Marketing Campaigns: Sending promotional messages, discounts, and offers to customers.
  • Transactional Messages: Sending order confirmations, shipping notifications, appointment reminders, etc.
  • Customer Service: Facilitating two-way communication for customer support and inquiries.
  • Alerts and Notifications: Sending important alerts, such as service updates, emergency notifications, and account alerts.

Overall, 10DLC provides a balanced solution for businesses looking to communicate with their customers via SMS and MMS in a compliant, efficient, and cost-effective manner.

Why Do We Have to Adopt 10DLC?

10DLC (10-digit long code) is being mandated by mobile carriers for several reasons, primarily to address issues related to messaging traffic, compliance, and security. Here are the main reasons:

  1. Regulation and Compliance: Mobile carriers aim to enforce regulations that govern SMS messaging to prevent spam, fraud, and abuse. By requiring businesses to use 10DLC, carriers can better monitor and manage A2P (application-to-person) traffic, ensuring compliance with industry standards and legal requirements.
  2. Reducing Spam and Fraud: With the rise in spam and fraudulent messages, carriers need a system that can effectively filter and block unwanted messages. 10DLC allows carriers to identify and authenticate businesses, reducing the likelihood of spam and fraud reaching consumers.
  3. Network Efficiency and Quality: Traditional long codes were designed for P2P (person-to-person) messaging and were not equipped to handle the high volume of messages sent by businesses. 10DLC is optimized for A2P messaging, ensuring that networks can handle large volumes of business messages without compromising on quality and delivery rates.
  4. Improved Deliverability and Throughput: 10DLC provides higher throughput rates compared to traditional long codes, allowing businesses to send messages more efficiently and reliably. This ensures that messages are delivered promptly, enhancing the effectiveness of business communications.
  5. Enhanced Transparency and Accountability: By requiring businesses to register their 10DLC numbers, carriers can maintain a database of legitimate senders. This increases transparency and accountability, making it easier to trace the origin of messages and take action against violators.
  6. Cost Considerations: While short codes offer high throughput, they are expensive and not feasible for many businesses, especially smaller ones. 10DLC offers a cost-effective alternative, making it accessible for businesses of all sizes to leverage SMS for their communication needs.
  7. Better Customer Experience: By reducing spam and ensuring that legitimate messages are delivered efficiently, 10DLC enhances the overall customer experience. Consumers are more likely to trust and engage with messages from verified business senders.

The enforcement of 10DLC is driven by the need to create a more secure, efficient, and compliant messaging environment that benefits both businesses and consumers.

What is the relationship between The Campaign Registry, Accent, and 10DLC?

Who is The Campaign Registry (TCR)?

The carriers have designated a third-party company, The Campaign Registry (TCR), to register brands and campaigns through campaign service providers. TCR is responsible for assessing the trust score of each brand and sharing this information with the carriers. This trust score helps carriers determine message limitations based on their individual systems. By complying with TCR, businesses provide complete transparency about their messaging use case and the content they send to consumers.

Where Does Accent Come In?

Accent plays a crucial role in navigating the TCR registration process for your business. We handle the registration of your brands and campaigns with The Campaign Registry, ensuring that all necessary information is submitted accurately and efficiently. By partnering with Accent, you benefit from our expertise and support, making the process seamless and minimizing potential disruptions to your messaging services. This allows you to focus on delivering excellent customer experiences while we ensure compliance with 10DLC regulations and maintain high deliverability rates for your SMS and MMS messages.

Terms & Definitions to Keep in Mind

  • Registration: The process of submitting a business’s brand and campaign information to TCR for approval and assignment of a trust score.
  • Brand: The identity of the business sending messages. This includes the business name, industry, and other identifying information that is registered with TCR to obtain a trust score.
  • Campaign: A specific messaging use case or purpose for which messages are sent. This includes details such as the type of messages, content, and target audience. Campaigns must be registered with TCR to ensure compliance and transparency.
  • 10DLC (10-Digit Long Code): A system for sending business SMS and MMS messages using local 10-digit phone numbers, requiring registration with The Campaign Registry.
  • A2P Messaging (Application-to-Person): Text messages sent from an application to individuals, typically for business purposes, subject to stricter regulations.
  • P2P (Person-to-Person Messaging): P2P messaging historically referred to text messages sent between individuals using mobile phones, typically characterized by lower volumes and personal communication. However, with the implementation of 10DLC regulations, all messaging traffic, including what was previously considered P2P, is now classified as A2P (Application-to-Person) messaging. This means that all messages, regardless of their nature, must comply with the same regulatory requirements and registration processes to ensure transparency, security, and compliance.
  • TCR (The Campaign Registry): A third-party organization designated by carriers to register brands and campaigns, assess trust scores, and communicate these to carriers.
  • Trust Score: A score assigned by TCR based on a brand’s registration details, which carriers use to determine messaging limits and potential fees.
  • Campaign Service Provider (CSP): Companies that facilitate the registration of brands and campaigns with TCR on behalf of businesses.
  • Carrier: Mobile network operators (e.g., T-Mobile, AT&T) that deliver SMS and MMS messages to consumers and enforce 10DLC compliance.
  • Surcharges: Additional fees imposed by carriers on unregistered or non-compliant messaging traffic.
  • Deliverability: The likelihood of a message successfully reaching the recipient’s device, which can be affected by compliance with 10DLC regulations.
  • MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service): Messages that include multimedia content like images, videos, or audio, also subject to 10DLC regulations.
  • SMS (Short Message Service): Standard text messages sent between mobile phones, regulated under 10DLC when sent for business purposes.
  • Compliance: Adhering to the rules and regulations set by carriers and TCR to avoid penalties and ensure message delivery.
  • Vetting: Vetting is the process of thoroughly evaluating and verifying the details and credibility of a business or messaging campaign before approval. This process is conducted by a trusted third party to The Campaign Registry, ensuring that only legitimate and compliant entities are allowed to send messages. Vetting helps maintain the integrity and security of the messaging ecosystem.

Mandatory Registration and Avoiding Surcharge Fees

Starting March 1st, 2022, carriers began imposing increased surcharge fees for all unregistered traffic on their networks. If you are using a local number that is not registered with TCR, you will incur higher surcharge fees for the business text messages you send. To avoid these additional costs, it is crucial to register your traffic with TCR.

Starting September 30th, 2024, Accent will require all traffic to be registered to a brand and campaign. This ensures compliance with carrier regulations and helps maintain functional and efficient messaging for your business.

What does this mean for you?

As a business using SMS and MMS messaging, these changes mean that you must ensure your messaging practices comply with the new 10DLC regulations. This involves registering your brand and campaigns with The Campaign Registry (TCR) to avoid increased surcharge fees and potential message delivery issues. By doing so, you provide transparency about your messaging use cases, which helps maintain the integrity and effectiveness of the messaging ecosystem.

For businesses that have not yet registered, it is essential to act quickly. Unregistered traffic will be subject to higher fees and may experience delays or blocks, negatively impacting your ability to communicate with customers. By partnering with Accent, we can streamline the registration process, making it easier for you to comply with these new requirements.

Moreover, starting September 30th, 2024, Accent will enforce the requirement that all traffic must be registered to a brand and campaign. This ensures that your messaging activities are compliant with industry regulations, reducing the risk of penalties and enhancing the reliability of your communications. Our team at Accent is here to support you through this transition, providing guidance and assistance to ensure a smooth and efficient registration process.

Additionally, it’s important to note that these regulatory changes will result in increased fees for using the SMS service. This is due to the surcharges imposed by carriers for unregistered traffic and the cost of maintaining compliance with 10DLC requirements.

In summary, while these changes may seem daunting, they ultimately aim to improve the overall messaging environment, leading to higher trust and engagement from your customers. By staying compliant with 10DLC regulations, you can continue to deliver top-notch customer experiences through reliable and efficient messaging.

Key Considerations

When implementing 10DLC, there are several important factors to keep in mind:


  • Understand the costs associated with obtaining and registering a 10DLC number. This includes fees for brand and campaign registrations as well as charges for message sending. Budget accordingly to ensure smooth implementation and ongoing compliance.

Throughput Limits:

  • Different carriers and providers have varying throughput limits for 10DLC messages. Make sure your provider can accommodate your messaging volume needs, especially during peak times or high-demand campaigns.

Carrier-Specific Rules:

  • Some carriers may have unique rules and requirements beyond the general 10DLC guidelines. Accent assists in ensuring you comply with all specific carrier regulations to prevent any disruptions in your messaging services.

Message Content Compliance:

  • Ensure that your message content adheres to the guidelines set forth by carriers and regulatory bodies. This includes avoiding prohibited content and following best practices for message formatting and frequency.

Registration Process:

  • The registration process for 10DLC involves submitting detailed information about your brand and campaigns. Accurate and complete submissions are essential for obtaining a trust score and gaining approval from carriers.

Monitoring and Reporting:

  • Implement systems to monitor your messaging traffic and report any issues promptly. This helps maintain compliance and quickly addresses any problems that could affect message deliverability.

Technical Integration:

  • Seamless integration of 10DLC into your existing messaging infrastructure is crucial. Ensure that your technical team or provider supports APIs, SMS to Email, and SMS chat functions within your Hosted PBX products for a smooth transition.

Customer Experience:

  • Prioritize the customer experience by ensuring that messages are delivered promptly and reliably. 10DLC helps enhance trust and engagement with your messages by reducing spam and fraudulent content.

Implementing 10DLC involves careful planning, registration, and adherence to guidelines, but it offers a robust solution for business messaging with improved deliverability and compliance. As your carrier, Accent plays a pivotal role in the 10DLC ecosystem, ensuring secure, efficient, and compliant messaging. By enforcing regulations, managing message throughput, enhancing customer experience, and providing robust technical support, we enable your business to communicate effectively with customers while maintaining the integrity of the messaging network.

How can Accent help you navigate these changes?

To avoid unnecessary carrier surcharges, you must comply with The Campaign Registry. Being compliant means you have registered your brand(s) and campaigns that utilize local numbers for A2P messaging with TCR.

Accent offers you the ability to register brands and campaigns within our dashboard and via API. Whether you choose to register through Accent or directly with The Campaign Registry, we provide flexible options to suit your business needs and use case. Additionally, we have created a video tutorial that guides you through the registration process step-by-step.

Our goal is to make this transition as smooth as possible for you. By leveraging our tools and resources, you can ensure compliance with 10DLC regulations, avoid unnecessary fees, and maintain high deliverability rates for your messaging. Trust Accent to help you navigate these changes efficiently and effectively.