Text-to-911 Calls (USA)

Call if you can

In areas where text-to-911 is available, you may see a graphic such as this.

How to contact 911

If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech disabled and using a wireless phone or other type of mobile device, make sure to do the following in an emergency::

  • Always contact 911 by making a voice call, if you can.
  • If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech disabled, and text-to-911 is not available, use a TTY or a telecommunications relay service, if possible.
  • Remember – in most cases now, you cannot reach 911 by sending a text message.

In some circumstances, you may be able to reach emergency services in the United States by sending a text from your cell phone.  This capability is only available in some areas.  If at all possible, you should make a voice call.  If you cannot make a voice call, a relay service or tty is the next choice.

Note that text-to-911 isn’t just for people who have difficulty using the telephone.  Texting may be quieter than a voice call, which may help in some unsafe situations.

Here are some quick facts and FAQs.

More information, including a signed and captioned video, is available here.

The FCC maintains an Excel spreadsheet of locations where text-to-911 is available, updated monthly.

The FCC has adopted an order requiring wireless carriers and other text services to provide text-to-911 service within 6 months of receiving a request.  The request must come from the emergency call center.