Interstate Call Recording Laws & Compliance (2021)

Call recording laws can be complex, but compliance doesn't have to be. Learn what you need to know about call recording compliance, including differences in call recording laws by state and country, and keep your business or call center compliant.

intersate call recording laws

We've all heard it before: This call may be monitored or recorded for quality assurance and training purposes. It may seem insignificant to the caller, but a simple announcement like this goes a long way for businesses trying to stay compliant with phone call recording laws in 2021!

As recording calls for customer service training, legal discovery, and regulatory reasons becomes increasingly common, what are the rules that businesses need to be aware of to stay compliant? For example, if you are in the US and making or receiving calls from a different state, which state's call recording rules apply?

In this article, we cover the most common questions about interstate call recording regulations, as well as an overview of call recording laws by state. After reading, you'll have a better understanding of how to keep your business or call center compliant with call recording regulations in whichever state(s) apply. 

Disclaimer: The information below is for informational purposes only and not legal advice.

What Are the Penalties Associated with Breaking Call Recording Compliance Laws?

If you are caught illegally recording a phone calls, you risk criminal prosecution. In the US specifically, anyone found in violation of call recording legislation could face incarceration or heavy fines. When in doubt, we recommend you err on the side of caution and disclose to all participants of the call that the conversation is being recorded. State the intent or purpose for the recording and, if you want to avoid any risk altogether, provide a way for the caller to give their consent. At the very least, give them time to opt-out of the call in case they do not wish to be recorded and monitored.

“A good solution for businesses is to simply have a taped message, 'this call may be recorded to ensure quality customer service,' disclosure.”

-- Ryan Reiffert | Attorney at The Law Offices of Ryan Reiffert PLLC

What About Recording Calls Across State Lines?

Recording calls over state and international lines adds an additional layer of complexity. Say you’re a Philadelphia-based business taking inbound calls from customers in Louisiana seeking account support. Philadelphia is located in a two-party state, whereas Louisiana is a one-party state. With interstate call recording, which consent rules do you follow? 

“Federal and State laws vary on recording phone calls and conversations. It’s a complex matter to determine which jurisdiction legally has control in those cases involving recording devices or parties in multiple states. In order to be careful when applying the law, it’s best to follow the strictest applicable law when in doubt, or alternatively get the consent of at least one party to the conversation.”

-David Reischer, Esq. | Attorney & CEO of LegalAdvice.com

One-Party and All-Party States List

All companies doing business in the United States of America are subject to both Federal and State level legislation. Federal regulation requires that at least one party be notified of the recording taking place. One-party states choose not to legislate further, two-party states require at least two participants be notified, and all-party states mandate that every participant is aware they are being recorded in order for consent to apply. 

Call Recording Compliance for Customer Service

In addition to following the laws of the land, we recommend all businesses, big and small, adhere to a certain level of transparency when recording customer interactions. call recording etiquette should be maintained and well-rehearsed within your customer service team or call center. Following these best pracices keeps you compliant no matter which states the call is taking place in. 

Always Be Transparent

The last thing you want to do is upset your customers. So if you’re going to record your conversations with them, tell them directly with full transparency. Ensure your customers that you’re taking every precaution to protect their privacy and maximizing security for their sensitive data. Be upfront if you plan on sharing the recordings with a third-party, and clearly state the purpose of the recording as well as provide alternative solutions for those who do not wish to proceed. 

Add Clear Messaging

How you state the messaging is everything when it comes to call recording. As a business, it’s your responsibility to make sure customers are informed that their calls are being recorded and how you plan on using them. 

Adding messaging on your phone system’s IVR or auto-attendant can provide them a clear understanding of your intent and the passive/active consent capability so they may agree or object. You can customize this messaging to inform and divulge the business use regarding your customers’ recorded phone calls. 

To get consent from your callers, there are two types you can add to your phone system: passive and active consent. 

  1. Passive Consent. This consent is when the caller stays on the line after receiving the audio cue that the call is being recorded. Their willingness to remain on the line is their passive consent and without objection to the recording.
  2. Active Consent. Consent is received after the caller takes an affirmative action following an audio cue. This could be a verbal “yes” or “no” into the phone after being prompted, or by pressing “1 for yes,” “2 for no” on the keypad.

Understand Call Recording Storage Compliance

Call recordings in the US can be stored for 30, 60, 90, or 365-day increments to stay in compliance with regulatory requirements. Knowing your operative and home-based call recording storage rules can help save you from liability headaches. 

Make It Easy for Callers to Opt-Out

Giving the callers the choice to opt-out of a recorded phone call is a good measure to follow. Some customers may not feel comfortable being recorded, and others may fear that their privacy is being compromised. Adding a call-recording-free line to your call center could help put those customers’ minds at ease. Using the active consent example above, you could redirect the line of those who select “2 for no” to agents assisting callers who objected to the recording. 

Make Call Compliance Easy with AVOXI

Call recording laws are forever changing as technology evolves. Understanding domestic and international legislation is of vital importance for any business conversing with customers regarding their questions, inquiries, and sensitive or personal data. Putting the proper research and protocols in place can help keep your brand in good standing with the law and those who keep your business moving. 

Enabling call recording into your contact center requires software from a voice and contact center provider. It’s a tool that many businesses are using to measure their performance, track their data and analytics, and use that insight to improve their CSAT and overall call center experience. Are you interested in learning more about this feature? 

Call recording software, including unlimited storage and call tracking, is one of many solutions provided by AVOXI's business voice platform. You can choose from customizable storage options and have peace of mind knowing your call recordings are protected and comply with the highest industry standards. 

Learn More About Call Recording with AVOXI ➜