record calls in california

Whether you’re conducting an interview, running a call center, or gathering evidence for a court case, it’s important to know the legality of recording verbal conversations. Many of our customers live in California, which is one of the most strict states when it comes to recording calls.

In California, you can record phone calls – you just need all parties to consent.


What is considered consent?

In regards to recording verbal communication, by saying “this conversation is being recorded” before any other communication, the other party is consenting based on their willful act to continue the conversation.


How about playing a beep in the background?

Some services simply play a beep at a regular interval, representing the presence of a recording device. The beep tone needs to last between 170 and 250 milliseconds, and broadcast to both parties every 12 to 15 seconds during the recording period. The tone also needs to be a 1260 to 1540 Hertz tone. While hearing the beep is often considered common knowledge of recording, we always recommend announcing that the call will be recorded too.



According to California’s Penal Code Sections 630-638, recording without consent:

“… is punishable by a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year…”

And fines for repeat offenders are up to $10,000.


How do I record calls?

The law doesn’t specifically state equipment you have to use, so it’s up to you. You can use an old fashioned handheld recorder, a microphone, or of course, our call recording system. With our system, you simply 3-way in our recording line into any call. Anything the recording line hears gets recorded, and the recording is sent to you as an attachment via email. Take a look at our call recording plans page to find a package that fits your needs.


Secure Speak Call Recording Plans

  • Works on all phones (iPhone, Android, Windows, even landlines!)
  • Crystal clear recordings
  • Recordings emailed to your inbox
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Free phone support




Secure Speak is not a licensed lawyer and any statements do not constitute legal advice. Contact a lawyer for information pertaining to your specific case, and reference the California Penal Code 630-638 directly.


Posted by Secure Speak & filed under Legal.

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