Recording Call Guidelines

This guide provides the knowledge and strategies necessary to legally, effectively, ethically, and securely record phone calls.

What you need to know about legally recording phone calls

You might find it useful to record a call while you're on it for a number of reasons. If you're on a call with clients, customers, or colleagues, recording the call can be useful because you can reference it, use it for record-keeping, or train your team on how to better handle customers. However, one question remains: is it legal to record phone calls?

Can you record phone calls legally?

The answer to that question is yes, you can legally record phone calls. Despite the fact that recording phone calls is not illegal, telling people the call will be recorded is considered a best practice. In some cases, recording phone calls can be referred to as "wiretapping," but that term is usually reserved for government, legal, and criminal recordings. 

Recording calls is easier than ever with a wide variety of apps available. As we discuss call recording in this post, we will cover how different states handle it, how to record calls, and what tips to keep in mind as you record your calls.

US call recording laws

The majority of states in the US require one-party consent to record calls. The call can only be recorded if only one person agrees (usually the caller).

There are, however, eleven states that require two-party consent. The participants in the call must explicitly agree to be recorded. Two-party consent is required in the following states: 

  • California
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Montana
  • Nevada 
  • New Hampshire
  • Pennsylvania
  • Washington

Phone Call recordings are governed by state laws. In case you need guidance on the laws in each state, consult an attorney. You should always get the consent of everyone involved if you want to record calls with people located in more than one state.

Consent of one party versus consent of two parties: what is the difference?

A one-party consent or a two-party consent may be required depending on the state. In one-party consent, only one party must consent to the recording. As soon as the caller dials out, they can record. In a two-party consent call, both parties must give their consent. 

Recording conversations between states

What is the difference between a call from Texas (one-party consent) and a call with someone in Florida (two-party consent)? Generally, laws favor the state where the call originated. Considering that the call is coming from Texas, only one party's consent is required. Two-party consent would be required if the call originated in Florida.

The best way to record a phone call is to get all parties' consent. 

Violations of the recording laws may result in penalties

If you violate phone recording laws, you may be charged with a crime, you may be sued, or you may both. There is also the possibility of being charged with felonies or misdemeanors. There are many states that have strict laws that could lead to jail time if you are found to have violated them. 

Be sure to follow federal and state consent laws by working with an attorney. A lawyer can help you navigate the laws to ensure your business remains compliant, for instance, if you need to record calls every day for customer service. 

Tips for recording calls

Recording calls is easier than ever before. While it’s easy to just click a button and record, there are some things you should keep in mind when recording. Here are some tips to help you record phone calls:

Note: Be sure to inform all parties that the call will be recorded.

Make sure everyone on the call is aware that the call is being recorded. By doing so, anyone who is opposed to the call being recorded will be able to clearly express why they do not wish to be recorded. If they don't want the call recorded, let them know what it's for. That will help convince them it's legal.

The following are some samples you can use to let people know the call is being recorded:

  • “This call is being recorded for training and quality assurance purposes.”
  • “Is it OK if we record this call? We can send you the audio file after the call is over too.”
  • “We’d like to record this call for general record-keeping purposes. Is that OK with you?”
  • Would it be okay if we recorded this call for training purposes? ”

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