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Want to learn more about what an outgoing caller ID (or CNAM) is and how it works? We've got you covered.

What's an outgoing caller ID or CNAM?

CNAM, which is short for Caller ID Name, is the name of the person or business placing a phone call.

How does an outgoing caller ID or CNAM work?

Carriers populate one of several authoritative caller ID databases with subscriber data. Now when you get an OpenPhone number, we'll be able to do this for you.

Carriers also consume data from these databases. If you ever saw the name of the caller on your screen without having that person in your address book, your carrier looked up their number in one of these databases.

Can I put anything on my caller ID?

No. Otherwise, it would be one big mess. The CNAM or your outgoing caller ID can be a maximum of 15 characters in length, and can only contain letters, numbers, and spaces. Private, Unavailable, and Unknown are not allowed.

Also, you need to have authorization to use the name you'd like to show up on your caller ID. Otherwise, anyone can pretend to be the US Government.

Are there any limitations I should be aware of?

Unfortunately, Toll-Free numbers can't be used for outgoing caller ID. Toll-Free numbers were originally designed to exclusively receive calls and not make calls. Given this, CNAM does not maintain listings for Toll-Free numbers.

Each carrier has its own policies regarding caller ID. So while we submit your information to caller ID databases, it is not possible for us to guarantee it will display correctly every time for everyone. If a carrier is hitting a database that’s not up to date, it can display wrong information, or if they don’t hit it at all, it won’t display.

Most Canadian carriers do not automatically update their CNAM database. This may cause your Caller ID to display incorrectly with some Canadian carriers.

Don't worry, if you do not have a custom caller ID set up or a carrier doesn't look up caller ID information, your OpenPhone number will show up to people you call.

How much time does it take to update my caller ID information?

We will request updates to CNAM records weekly. From the time of the update, it sometimes takes 4-5 days for your caller ID information to start showing up.

Want to set up your outgoing caller ID?

Fill out this 1-minute form and we'll do the rest for you.

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