How to Get a Phone Number Into the CNAM Database

By Brad Harris

A simple phone call can correct missing or incorrect caller ID information.
i telephone image by Aditia Patria Warman from

Having a phone number that is correctly provisioned with your full name can prevent friends and family from screening and ignoring your call due to the dreaded "Unknown Caller" tag appearing on their caller ID display. While getting your information added to or updated in the CNAM database is not difficult, it does require time and patience while the process is in motion.

Call your land line or cellular service provider. Advise the answering representative that outbound caller ID information for your number is either missing or incorrect and request that it be updated.

Follow the customer service representative's directions to troubleshoot any CNAM discrepancies on your carrier's end; these steps may include altering settings on your device or simply waiting on the line while the representative manually checks his internal CNAM database for missing or incorrect information. The representative can then update your information in their database as needed.

Ask the representative to file a CNAM inquiry on your behalf if your number still does not display the correct caller ID information. Provide the information requested from the representative (such as the name you wish to appear and its correct spelling) and wait while the representative sends out the request. Because the information for your number may have to be updated in as many as 20 different caller ID company databases (reference 2 under "Why your caller-ID name may not be displaying properly"), it may take several days for your information to be updated.