A2P 10DLC for Political Campaigns

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Nisha Bhakar

mins read

March 28, 2024

Why Political Campaigns Need A2P 10DLC?

Key Takeaways

  1. A2P 10DLC mandates registration for entities using 10 digit long code phone numbers along with providing benefits like enhanced delivery and cost efficiency
  2. Only certain organizations, with different vetting restrictions are eligible to send SMS campaigns in the political use case
  3. Political campaigns need A2P 10DLC for enhanced deliverability, cost efficiency and regulatory compliance
  4. Registering with TCR, categorizing political entity correctly and completing brand registration are some steps to get started with A2P 10DLC
  5. To get started with SMS campaigns, you can get in touch with the Message Central team

What is A2P 10DLC?

A2P 10DLC leverages 10-digit long code phone numbers specifically in the United States, tailored for entities including political campaigns seeking essential mass texting capabilities.  

This framework not only mandates registration for all users employing 10-digit codes but also extends significant benefits such as enhanced deliverability and cost efficiency.

The Terminology and Restrictions

In A2P 10DLC, the following terms are to be understood: -

  1. Brand: This is your business entity and is represented by a 10 DLC number.
  2. Campaign: A campaign is based on the type of text messages that the brand will send. Use case is also another interchangeably used word for a campaign.

Additionally, only certain registered organizations are eligible to send SMS campaigns pertaining to political use case. The same are mentioned below: -

  1. Without external vetting, non-profit organizations having codes 501(c)(4), 501(c)(5) and 501(c)(6) can send political traffic.
  2. For 527 organizations which are tax exempt, there is a need for external vetting. Along with this, it also need to be verified by Campaign Verify after which there will be an authorization token as a proof of qualification.

Why Political Campaigns Need A2P 10 DLC

Infographic Showing Why Political Campaigns Need A2P 10DLC by Message Central.

A2P can significantly enhance communication strategies for political campaigns. Here’s why political campaigns are increasingly adopting A2P 10DLC:

1. Enhanced Deliverability and Trust:  

Up to 90% Reduction in Filtering: Campaigns sending compliant messages via A2P 10DLC experience a drastic reduction in message filtering, ensuring crucial SMS advertising messages reach their audience.

Improved Trust: Registration with The Campaign Registry (TCR) signals adherence to industry standards, fostering trust among constituents.

2. Cost Efficiency and Increased Engagement:  

Cost-Effective Communication: Compared to traditional SMS short codes, A2P 10DLC is more affordable, making it accessible for campaigns of all sizes.

Personalized Messaging: The ability to send targeted messages enhances voter engagement, encouraging action and participation.

3. Regulatory Compliance and High Reliability:

Compliance: A2P 10DLC adheres to regulatory requirements, alleviating concerns of rule violations.

Reliability and Security: With high delivery rates and low latency, messages are delivered promptly. Enhanced security features like two-factor authentication protect sensitive information.

Getting Started with A2P 10 DLC for Political Campaigns

Embarking on the journey to integrate A2P 10DLC into political campaigns involves a structured approach to ensure compliance, maximize engagement, and leverage the benefits of this powerful communication channel. Here’s a straightforward guide to getting started:

1. Register with The Campaign Registry (TCR)

Documentation: Have your Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Tax ID ready.

Accuracy: Match your business name and tax ID with IRS documentation.

2. Categorize Your Political Entity Correctly

Political Organizations: Use the Political Use Case for 527 entities.

Advocacy and Civic Participation: Differentiate between IRS 501(c) designations and select the appropriate use case.

3. Complete Your Brand Registration

Campaign Verify: Obtain and import your token to assert your status as a verified 527 Political Organization.

Message Central Users: Utilize the platforms for A2P 10DLC registration, noting specific steps for political campaigns. You can get in touch with the team for the same.  

Brand and Campaign Registration: Follow the three-step process diligently, considering number pool requirements and ensuring all campaign information is accurate.

By adhering to these guidelines, political campaigns can effectively harness A2P 10DLC’s capabilities, fostering enhanced communication with constituents while navigating the regulatory landscape with confidence.

Navigating Regulatory Compliance

Navigating the regulatory compliance landscape for A2P 10DLC in political campaigns requires a clear understanding of the requirements and deadlines. Here's a concise guide:

1. Registration and Compliance:

Documentation: Ensure your business name and tax ID match IRS records.

2. Special Use Cases and Provisioning:

Government Agencies: Eligible for Standard and Emergency Special Use Cases.

Non-Profit Organizations: Access to Charity / 501(c)(3) Nonprofit use case.

Political Organizations: Should utilize the 'Political' special use case.

Provisioning: Traffic on sanctioned routes must be appropriately provisioned.

3. Vetting and Messaging Throughput:

Campaign Verify: Vetting through Campaign Verify enhances messaging throughput, offering a special Messaging Class designation by AT&T and eliminating the need for  

Adhering to these steps ensures compliance, maximizes messaging effectiveness, and avoids potential fines or penalties for non-compliance.


As we have explored, A2P 10DLC emerges as a critical advancement in the field of political campaigning.  
It offers a myriad of advantages including enhanced deliverability, increased trust and engagement, affordability, and strict adherence to regulatory compliance. These elements collectively make A2P 10DLC not just a beneficial tool but a necessary evolution for political entities aiming to refine and elevate their communication strategies.  

To harness the full potential of A2P 10DLC, political campaigns must navigate the registration and compliance landscape with diligence and strategic foresight. A reliable SMS API provider like Message Central can help navigate the regulations around political campaigns.


Q1: Is it required to use A2P 10DLC for business messaging?

Yes, for businesses sending A2P messages using long codes, it is required to adopt A2P 10DLC, especially in the US. Every brand must be registered individually, which means that businesses cannot combine multiple campaigns under a single registration.

Q2: What are the advantages of using A2P 10DLC for messaging?

The advantages of using A2P 10DLC are numerous, including:

  1. Enhanced message deliverability with a dedicated channel
  2. Increased capacity for sending messages at higher volumes
  3. Improved credibility of messages, leading to better engagement and responses
  4. Lower costs compared to using short codes
  5. Exclusive use of designated numbers for your campaigns

Q3: Who is obligated to register for A2P 10DLC?

All companies that use mass texting services over local numbers for business purposes are required to register for A2P 10DLC through their campaign service provider (CSP).

Q4: What is the timeframe for A2P 10DLC registration, and are there any associated fees?

The registration process for A2P 10DLC typically takes about 5 business days for qualified brands to receive approval. Typically, there may be fees involved with the registration process, but specifics would need to be obtained from the service provider.

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