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Personalize Your Caller ID with CNAM Registration
Personalize Your Caller ID with CNAM Registration

How to customize your Caller ID display for contacts in smrtPhone's Trust Center

Georgiana Mirita avatar
Written by Georgiana Mirita
Updated over a week ago

CNAM stands for Caller ID Name and is a feature that allows you to customize the lettering visible below your phone number on a Caller ID display. If a contact does not have you saved in their address book, their carrier can show them your phone number or your phone number + your CNAM, improving answer rates.

CNAM registration is free, and because it requires vetting, it is available only through the smrtPhone Trust Center after you have a verified business profile.

CNAM registration, along with STIR / SHAKEN and A2P10DLC, helps clients separate themselves from spammers and be seen as legitimate to their prospects.

Friendly Name is not the same as CNAM.

Why Register for CNAM?

When you purchase a U.S. phone number, it automatically comes assigned some wording based on the NANP (North American Numbering Plan). The default is the routing center for the phone number - back from legacy days of landlines only. It can make a phone number look less local than it actually is.

Instead of accepting what is assigned to your number, you can create a CNAM to show exactly what you need your prospects to see, up to 15 characters (including spaces.) You register for one CNAM for your business and then assign phone numbers from your portfolio to use it.


Confirm you have an Approved Business Profile

Before assigning your personalized Caller ID(s), your Account Owner needs to register your business in the Trust Center. 

Head to the Admin Dashboard > Trust Center.

Once your business profile is approved, go to the CNAM Registration (Personalized Caller ID) tab and click on Register.

Enter Your Desired Caller ID Display

Complete the box with the Caller ID you want displayed for outbound calling - a maximum of 15 characters, spaces included. Please note that CNAM applications are vetted for appropriateness for general business (ex: no swear words) and specifically for your business based on your approved Business Profile (ex: you cannot use someone else's brand name.)

A CNAM Caller ID:

  • Cannot start with a number, it should begin with a letter:

    • NO: 4 Rental

    • YES: For Rental

  • Can only contain letters, numbers, periods, commas, and spaces, with no special symbols:

    • NO: $ free of charge

    • YES: Free of charge

Add Phone Numbers

Next, add your numbers for which this Caller ID should be displayed.  You only get one CNAM per account and may select all your numbers or only a few to use it.

To add numbers, select the green button +Add Numbers and then choose one or more numbers from your list.

Once you are happy with the selection, press Save.

Certify Who is Using the CNAM

To save your settings, check the box to comply with legal and common sense regulations, declaring that you own the business phone numbers.

Reminder: This registration action is only available for the Account Owner.

Submit the Form

After pressing the Submit button, click on the notice that informs you that your form is saved to go back to the Trust Center page.


Approval may take a few business days, as the changes must be validated by the carriers. Once approved, a green badge will appear in the CNAM tab. During the approval process, you can use your smrtPhone account as normal. 

Modifying an Approved CNAM

Once approved, you can edit your Customized Caller ID at any point. For each submission, you will have to wait for new approval. 

🙇When personalizing your Caller ID we advise you to avoid explicit or inappropriate language which will most likely result in a rejection.🤬

What does CNAM Registration Do?

📈 Improves answer rates by providing customized lettering along the phone numbers.

✅ Offers relevance by displaying a personalized name for your phone number, based on your Business Profile.

🔰 Decreases chances of being marked SPAM likely because you have taken additional steps to verify your identity to contacts.

Though smrtPhone does not offer Vanity Numbers, CNAM registration offers similar benefits in terms of recognition.

💰Moreover, this feature is free of cost. 😉

smrtPhone cannot guarantee that carriers will display your CNAM with your phone number. Some carriers make this feature part of a premium plan for their customers. Carriers update their CNAM databases on their own independent schedule.

What we can guarantee is that we will send this information along with every outbound call on designated phone numbers and help you take advantage of every opportunity to improve answer rates.

Important CNAM Disclaimers

  • Not all carriers may subscribe to the multiple CNAM databases available. The carrier will confirm and verify this CNAM has been correctly set and pass that value to the terminating carrier.

  • CNAM for Canada and Puerto Rico are not supported, therefore, the Carrier is not able to guarantee CNAM updates will display properly.

  • Often times, CNAM display name only appears on devices if enabled by the subscriber's carrier.

  • For landlines, CNAM display is always enabled by default.

  • For mobile devices, some carriers, offer CNAM display for free, but others may offer as a paid service.

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