Learn about 10DLC- SMS

1. Overview

10DLC stands for a 10-digit long code and 10DLC is governed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA). This number type requires businesses to follow specific guidelines and comply with regulations such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in the United States. Once approved, 10DLC numbers can be used for application-to-person messaging (A2P).

10 DLC are a carrier sanctioned cost-effective solution for businesses to send A2P text messaging, using 10-digit (non-wireless) local numbers available in the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). Brands and businesses can use a single or pool/bundle of numbers for their messaging campaigns to engage with customers and create brand recognition.

10DLC helps to protect customers from unwanted spam, while allowing businesses to better connect with their customers. This change will also improve deliverability because 10DLC allows for higher messaging throughput than traditional long code messaging.

The regulation is still being ironed-out by the tier 1 carriers (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile) and the "The Campaign Registry", the company they chose to centralise all 10DLC brand and campaign registrations.

10DLC does not support handset delivery receipts (DLR's); only network DLR's are available.

2. Important considerations for 10 DLC

10DLC requires businesses to register a brand (business) and campaigns (use cases) to increase transparency regarding who is sending what.

Like short codes, communications providers will be vetting businesses and their 10DLC messaging programs before allowing them to send A2P messages, which will assess the risk and ensure proper usage to avoid unintentional spam filtering. As with short codes, each mobile operator may have their own rules, processes and fees.

10DLC helps businesses confidently send text messages to their customers individually or at scale with a local phone number, improving customer engagement and experience.

The carriers are currently offering a grace period for businesses to migrate A2P messages to 10DLC. It is important to register your 10DLC brand (business) and campaign (messaging use case) to avoid fines and blocked messages in the future. The carriers have not yet announced a date when they will begin enforcing fines and blocked messages.

Businesses can use 10DLC for a wide range of messaging use cases, including customer communications, marketing campaigns, transactional messaging, appointment reminders, notifications, and more. More important, 10DLC allows for two-way messaging, enabling businesses to engage in interactive conversations with their customers, clients, and prospects.


Important - 10DLC will not support handset delivery receipts or Free to End User programs.

3. Registering a 10 DLC

The registration process comprises of the following:

  1. Company Information
  2. Brand Vetting
  3. 10 DLC Service Information and Use Case
  4. Call-to-Action (CTA / Message Flow)
  5. Opt-In
  6. Help
  7. Opt-out
  8. Sample Messages
  9. Other features and capabilities

The registration process has been split into 2 components Brand Registration and Campaign Registration, all fields are mandatory, and any assistance needed you can contact [email protected].
Once you have completed the above registration documentation, the information is then passed on for review by The Campaign Registry (TCR - the 3rd party that administers carriers' 10DLC registration system). This is an industry-wide mandatory step for all A2P 10DLC registrations.

4. Brands & Campaigns

When you first register your Brand, you are asked to submit the Brand name, Tax Number / ID / EIN, company address and contact details. After you complete this, your Brand will either be in a Verified state or and Unverified state. If you are in an Unverified state, you will not be able to run on 10DLC. This means there is information in your Brand registration that does not match your tax filing, thus the Brand cannot be verified.

Each brand requires an associated tax number or EIN, therefore only one brand is allowed per EIN and any additional brands would require their own Tax Number / EIN.

Brand Score

The TCR uses an algorithm to assign a Brand Score to each business that submits a 10DLC brand registration. This score is determined by specific criteria relating to your company, and carriers use this score to determine your messaging throughput, either in message segments per second (MPS) or as a daily messaging limit.

A message segment/part consists of 160 standard characters, so an SMS with more characters and/or non-standard characters can count as multiple message segments.
Carriers / Networks determines throughput as a daily messaging limit at the brand level, which means that all your campaigns combined must share the daily limit.

Brand Vetting

While vetting your brand is not mandatory, it will help the carriers to define better terms for your 10DLC campaigns. If you choose to not be vetted, the default/lowest message throughput will be applied to your 10DLC traffic.


There are special campaign use cases such as Agents and Franchises, Carrier Exemptions, Charity, Conversational Messaging, Emergency, Political, Social, Sweepstake, Large CSP Trial. These special campaigns may require pre-approval, post-approval, and/or vetting to work appropriately.

If you believe you may fall under this special use case, please contact [email protected].

There are instances where a mixed-use case campaign maybe appropriate as a number can only be assigned to one campaign. For example, if there are two campaigns: one for OTP’s (One Time Pins) and another for marketing. The same phone number cannot be used in both campaigns. In order to use the same phone number, a "Mixed" campaign is recommended which allows for up to 5 sub use cases. AT&T message fees may be higher for Mixed campaigns.
Campaigns can however have multiple numbers.

5. Tips for registering a Brand and Campaign Successfully


One of the key elements to a successful brand registration is ensuring the accuracy of the information provided and consistency of the brand with regards to the name, website and contact details especially email. Please ensure that the information used for your brand registration is an exact match to your company registration docs.

This includes your registered company name, registered business address, company registration or VAT number.

Other key elements to consider include your website, contact detail and entity type (i.e. Private or Public company).

When a website is present the supplied URL should be accurate, and the domain used should match your email domain and your contact details should be easily located on the supplied website.


Once your brand has been verified and you have been through the optional but highly encouraged 3rd party vetting, it is time to register your campaign.

Your Campaign needs to have a clear message flow or call to action to illustrate to the carriers how your end user opts in to receiving SMS communication from your Brand.

It needs to include what medium is used to gather the information and how it is used to arrive at the SMS communication.

If your call to action is via your website where the end user enters their number, you need to ensure that there is clear opt in language on your website that indicates to the end user that by supplying their mobile number that they may receive SMS communication.

If there is any field on your website that requests a mobile number, that field should either be optional or clearly stated that it may be used for SMS communication.

6. Throughput Determination

Each of your registered campaigns will be assigned a maximum MPS, based on your Brand Score as well as the type of campaign. This MPS limit is shared across all numbers attached to your campaign, and all wireless carriers. Whether you send all traffic through one number or split it up across multiple, the same MPS limit applies.

  • Campaigns (Use cases) fall into three categories:
  • Declared - Specific use cases. Ex. two factor authentication
  • Mixed - A combination of multiple use cases
  • Marketing - Marketing related content
  • Special - Charity, emergency, political, and other.

Declared use cases may receive higher MPS than a Mixed or Marketing campaign with the same Brand Score.

Messaging Throughputs: Declared Use Cases

Branded ScoreAT&T SMS MPSVerizon SMS MPST-Mobile SMS MPSTotal SMS MPS to major carriers*

*Your messages toward all minor US carriers (small independent carriers comprising less than 5% of the overall mobile market share) will be based on the MPS rate you receive with each major network, with a maximum of 30 MPS.

Messaging Throughput: Mixed / Marketing Use Cases

Branded ScoreAT&T SMS MPSVerizon SMS MPST-Mobile SMS MPS

*Your messages toward all minor US carriers (small independent carriers comprising less than 5% of the overall mobile market share) will be based on the MPS rate you receive with each major network, with a maximum of 30 MPS.

Messaging Throughput: Special

Social Engagement1,0001,0001,000
Emergency Services505050
Agents, Franchise, local branches606060

In addition to the MPS limitation, T-Mobile has a daily message limitation at the brand level. This means that the sum of all messages for all campaigns associated with a brand must be below the daily limit:

Brand ScoreT-Mobile message limit (SMS segments) outbound