Recording your phone calls.

Can you record your own phone calls, ingoing and outgoing? Usually, at least in the United States.

Most states are “one-party-consent law” states. If you live in one of these, you can always record your own in-state calls either openly or surreptitiously, since only one participant’s consent is needed. Likewise, you can get someone else to record them for you.

In interstate calls, it’s important to check this state-by-state summary, because in interstate calls, both states’ laws apply, and you need to apply the most stringent applicable law. For example, if you live in California or are even just speaking to someone in California (an “all-party-consent law” state), you must get the other party's permission to record the call, or risk having to pony up $5000 in statutory damages (or three times the actual damages, whichever is greater). In general, announcing your intent to record and letting the other party hang up if they don’t like it is sufficient in all states: continued participation implies consent.

The all-party-consent law states are: California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Washington. In Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Missisippi, and probably New Mexico as well, a participant may record but a non-participant may not, even with consent. In Vermont the law is unsettled.

I am not a lawyer; this is not legal advice; laws change; errors happen.