What is the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA)?
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) is a U.S. federal law to limit the use of automatic dialing systems, prerecorded or artificial voice messages, fax machines and SMS text messages. It also requires the identification and contact information of the entity using the device. It requires the maintenance of a “do-not-call” (DNC) list, honor the National Do Not Call Registry and prohibits solicitors from calling residences before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m., local time. Under TCPA, solicitors must identify themselves and provide contact information. It prohibits unsolicited advertising faxes (though this is allowed for existing customers under the Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2005), and solicitations to residences that use artificial voices or a recordings. Violations are subject to injunctions and $500 per violation or actual damages whichever is greater through a private right of action. For willful violations solicitors can be liable for up to three times the damages per violation.
To allow further rule making in this area, the TCPA gives rule-making authority to the Federal Communications Commission.
See TCPA at FCC