10 DLC Registration: A Complete Guide for Sending A2P SMS In the United States

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Despite the rise of other communication channels, SMS remains a popular and effective way for businesses to connect with customers.  

Popularly known as A2P messaging, or application to person messaging, SMS based communications has improved our lives with timely, live updates from the businesses we interact with. 

In 2022, businesses in the United States sent an estimated 227 billion SMS messages to consumers as per CTIA.  

As a business sending messages to customers in the United States, you need to complete a 10 DLC registration. This is to meet government regulations, and satisfy consumer privacy, data protection and business needs. 

Please read the following information carefully, and in case you need help, our team is here to help

What is 10 DLC Registration? 

The abbreviation 10 DLC refers to 10 Digit Long Code. Leading US carriers have introduced fresh criteria for an updated application-to-person (A2P) messaging standard within the USA. This standard pertains to messaging utilizing 10-digit geographic phone numbers, commonly referred to as 10 DLC. This modern standard brings about numerous advantages, including improved messaging speeds and enhanced deliverability. 

For users of the EnableX SMS API who transmit data from a +1 Country Code 10 Digit Long Code to US networks, it is now necessary to register a brand and campaign. This registration ensures approval for sending messages effectively. 

Who Needs to Register for 10 DLC? 

Individuals and entities sending SMS/MMS messages via a 10DLC number from an application to the US are required to complete the A2P 10 DLC registration process. 

Since carriers view all SMS traffic from EnableX as originating from applications, anyone utilizing a 10DLC number through EnableX SMS API for sending SMS messages to the US is obligated to undergo registration. This encompasses individuals as well as enterprises using EnableX. 

What are the Benefits of Using 10 DLC Registration?  

  • Increased deliverability: For businesses registered for 10 DLC, sending SMS is an easy process with high deliverability. While many platforms will advertise cheap SMS to the United States, they often do so by finding workarounds, mostly illegal, to send these messages. While businesses may pay a low per message fee for US messages, they will find deliverability is very low.
  • Improved security: 10DLC messages are more secure than other types of SMS messages, thanks to the use of authentication and encryption. 
  • Better compliance: 10DLC messages are more compliant with regulations than other types of SMS messages. 

If you are sending SMS messages to a large customer base in the United States, then 10DLC is the best way to do it.

How do I register my business for 10DLC? 

Please make sure that you have a US registered phone number linked to your business account.  

1. Business Registration: The Business Registry is a database of all businesses that are authorized to send 10DLC messages. It includes information about the business’s name, address, phone number, and website. The Business Registry is used by mobile carriers to verify that businesses are legitimate and have the proper permissions to send 10DLC messages.  

The following are the requirements for registering a business in the Business Registry: 

  • You must be a legitimate business. 
  • You must have a physical address in the United States. 
  • You must have a valid phone number for your business. 
  • You must agree to comply with the 10 DLC regulations. 

Documents Required for 10DLC Business Registration  

Business Information Name of the Business  Physical Address of the Business Identity of the Business (D2C/Reseller/Partner) Type of Business (Sole Proprietorship/Partnership/Corporation /Co-Operative/LLC/Non-Profit) Business Status – Public or Privately Held Business Registration Number & Type (EIN for US-based companies, other business identifier for non-US companies) Business Website Business Industry Geographical Region of Business Operations 
Business Point of Contact Name Email Phone Number Designation You can provide another PoC if required 

2. Campaign Registration: The Campaign Registry is a database of all 10DLC campaigns. It includes information about the campaign’s sender, recipient, content, and purpose. The Campaign Registry is used by mobile carriers to verify that 10DLC campaigns are compliant with their regulations. 

To register for 10DLC, you must first create a campaign in the Campaign Registry. Once your campaign is approved, you must then register your business in the Business Registry. 

The following are the requirements for registering a campaign in the Campaign Registry: 

  • You must have a valid phone number for your campaign. 
  • You must provide a brief description of your campaign. 
  • You must select the purpose of your campaign from the list of approved use cases. 
  • You must agree to comply with the 10DLC regulations

3. Submit your business and campaign registration to DCA 

The DCA is a third-party organization that is responsible for verifying that businesses are complying with the 10DLC regulations. The 10DLC regulations are designed to protect consumers from spam and unwanted text messages. The DCA vetting process is a manual process that can be time-consuming. However, it is important to go through the DCA vetting process to ensure that your business is compliant with the law. 

To submit your registration for DCA vetting, you will need to provide proof that the contacts you will be texting have opted in to receive text messages from you. This can be done by providing consent forms, opt-in lists, or other documentation. The DCA will review your documentation and may contact you if they have any questions.  

How to prove Opt-ins for your Business?  

  • Use Opt-in keywords like unstop, start, yes, revert, resume, begin, etc. 
  • Use an opt-in option in your sign-up forms. 
  • Add ‘text’ or ‘call us’ on your website.  

Please verify that your business agrees with “Terms and Conditions” to follow the CTIA Short Code Monitoring Program.  

4. Choose the relevant use case for your business (list given below). If you have more than one use case, select multiple use cases as per your business and campaign requirements.  

What Use Cases Are Accepted for 10DLC?  

  • Account Notifications: Standard notifications for account holders, such as account balance updates, password reset instructions, and fraud alerts. 
  • Customer Care: All customer interaction, including account management and customer support. 
  • Two-factor Authentication: SMS messages regarding any authentication for OTPs, payments, sign ins, etc., can be sent. 
  • Delivery Notifications: Information about the status of the delivery of a product or service, such as tracking updates and shipping confirmations. 
  • Fraud Alert Messaging: Messaging regarding potentially fraudulent activity on an account, such as unauthorized charges or suspicious login attempts. 
  • Higher Education Campaigns: Campaigns created on behalf of Colleges or Universities, as well as School Districts and educational institutions that fall outside of any “free to the consumer” messaging model. 
  • Digital Marketing: Any communication with marketing and/or promotional content. 
  • Public Polls and Votes: Requests for surveys and voting for non-political arenas. 
  • Public Service Announcement: An informational message that is meant to raise the audience’s awareness about an important issue. 
  • Security Alert: A notification that the security of a system, either software or hardware, has been compromised in some way and there is an action you need to take. 
  • Low Volume (Mixed): Campaigns with 2 to 5 use cases that only need very low messaging throughput. This includes test or demo accounts, as well as small businesses. 
  • Mixed: A combination of 2 to 5 use cases under the same Campaign Registration. This is not recommended for high throughput needs, as it has lower capacity at AT&T and lower daily quota with T-Mobile. 

Can I Use the Same Phone Number for More Than One Use Case?  

Yes, you can use the same phone number for multiple use cases. This is called a Mixed-Use Case, and you can select up to 5 different standard use cases in the same 10DLC. However, there are some things to keep in mind: 

  • AT&T discourages Mixed Use Cases. Once the grace period is over, the carrier pass-through fees will be higher, and the filtering and throughput will be lower than for single-use cases. 
  • For medium to high volume traffic, we recommend separating the use cases into different 10DLCs. This means registering one Campaign Brief for each use case and having a dedicated 10DLC for each. 
  • If a suspicious SMS is flagged on a Mixed-Use Case, it will be suspended/blocked for the entire 10DLC, including all use cases in that number. 

How many phone numbers, use cases, and brands can be linked with each other? 

You can associate up to 49 numbers with the same brand and campaign brief. However, this does not increase the deliverability of your messages, as the throughput is limited to the brand or campaign brief level. If you need to associate more than 49 numbers with the same campaign brief, you will need to get approval from the carriers. T-Mobile charges US$5,000 for this approval. 

One 10DLC number can only be associated with one brand and campaign brief (use case). This can be a mixed-use case, but it must be registered as such. If you register a single standard use case but send mixed traffic, your traffic will be blocked. The only way to have multiple use cases in the same 10DLC number is to use a mixed-use case or low volume mixed use case. 

What are the throughput limits on 10 DLC Registration? 

AT&T and T-Mobile have different throughput limits for 10DLC campaigns. AT&T limits throughput per minute for each campaign brief, while T-Mobile limits throughput per day for each brand. 

For AT&T, if a campaign brief has multiple 10DLC numbers, the minute allowance is shared across all linked 10DLC numbers. Selecting a mixed-use case on one 10DLC number will lower the throughput limit and increase the carrier fees. 

For T-Mobile, if a brand has multiple campaign briefs (use cases), the daily allowance is shared across all campaign briefs. Selecting a mixed-use case does not affect the throughput limit or carrier fees. 

How to do 10 DLC registration for sending SMS in US? 

Just sign up for a free trial account, and you can set up your 10 DLC based SMS sending service through EnableX’s CPaaS platform. Not just SMS, our services include video API, voice and WhatsApp, should you need them! 

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