Relay Center Services

As a service to Tennessee's deaf, deaf-blind, hard-of-hearing, and hearing and speech-impaired community, the Tennessee Relay Service (TNRS) provides free, statewide assisted telephone service to those with speech, hearing, and visual impairments.

Operated under contract by Sprint and regulated by the Tennessee Public Utility Commission, relay service links conversations between people who use text telephones (TTY's) or telebraille (TB) devices and people who use standard telephones.

How Relay Service Works

A person using a TTY or TB device (TTY or TB machines are optional for deaf-blind persons) types his or her conversation. The typed message is relayed by a Relay Center specialist, called a Communications Assistant (CA), who reads the message to the person using a standard telephone. The CA communicates the hearing person's spoken words by typing them back to the TTY user. All calls are confidential.

Confidentiality: Calls made through Tennessee Relay Service are confidential. It is illegal for CAs to disclose information from relayed telephone conversations. No records of relayed conversations are kept.

Using A TTY For A Relay Call

  1. Dial the Tennessee Relay Service at 1 (800) 848-0298.
  2. The Relay Center will send this message: "TN RELAY CA 2345F NBR CALLING PLS GA." Which stands for: Tennessee Relay Service. Number calling, please. Go ahead. The gender of the CA is also displayed.
  3. Type the area code and number along with any additional calling instructions. Then type "GA."
  4. The CA will type back the number requested which indicated the number is being dialed. Then type the response of the called party. "Ringing #, Hello (F) GA." The letter (F) indicates the gender of the person that answered the phone.
  5. To make another relay call when finished, do not hang up. The CA will be ready to place your next call.

Using A Voice Telephone For A Relay Call

Follow these steps to communicate with a person who uses a TTY or TB device.

  1. Call the Tennessee Relay Service at 1 (800) 848-0299.
  2. Listen for the greeting: "Tennessee Relay Service. CA#. May I have the number you are calling ?"
  3. Give the CA the number you are calling. (You are now ready to talk).
  4. Begin speaking as you would during a regular telephone conversation. The CA will relay your conversation.
  5. Each time you finish speaking, say "Go ahead" to inform the CA that you are ready to receive the TTY user's response.
  6. If you want to make another call when you are finished, do not hang up. The CA will be ready to place your call.

Billing Options

There are six (6) billing options available to users of relay service:

  • Collect calls
  • Calling card calls
  • Calls billed to a third party, and Pre-paid phone cards
  • Person-to-person calls
  • Credit card (Discover or MasterCard)

Inform the CA as to the type of call you are making.

Emergency Calls

The Tennessee Relay Service will assist in providing a connection to the emergency service needed. However, Relay Service is not and should not be used as a substitute for 911 emergency services. To ensure that your emergency call is handled as quickly as possible, please call your local emergency service number directly.

If you have questions or comments about Tennessee Relay Service, or experience service problems, please call Tennessee Relay Service Customer Service at 1(866) 503-0262 (TTY, Voice, ASCII, STS). Or for additional information contact the Tennessee Public Utility Commission at 1(888) 276-0677 (TTY) or 1(800) 342-8359.

Relay Service Phone Numbers

Tennessee Relay Services can be reached by simply dialing one of the following telephone numbers:

Statewide Access 711  
TTY/PC Users 800-848-0298  
Voice Users 800-848-0299  
Espanol 866-503-0263  
Speech-to-Speech 866-503-0264  
Customer Service 866-503-0262 (Voice, TTY, ASCII, STS)  

Sprint is the statewide provider of Relay service.

Directory Assistance

Sprint can assist callers with directory assistance. Simply inform the CA that you would like directory assistance and they will provide the help.

What is Caller Profile?

Set up your caller profile and you will not have to say how you want your call handle every time you call the relay center. The Tennessee Relay can handle your future relay calls just the way you like it and know how you want your calls to be handled. Below are the options available.

  • Answer Protocol - Whether you choose VCO or HCO, your call will be answered in the protocol you request.
  • Do Not Announce - The CA will not announce the call as a relay call or give instructions on how to use relay service.
  • No Background Noises- The CA will eliminate the background noises during the relayed conversation.
  • Abbreviate Auto-Messages- Instead of relaying a recorded message verbatim, you can save time by asking the CA to abbreviate the messages from automated or voice response systems.
  • Slow Typing- The CA will type slower than required.
  • ASL Translation- The CA will type in written format similar to American Sign Language and translate the typed message into conversational English.
  • Speed Dial List- A list of 30 of your most frequently called telephone numbers. Just give list name or telephone number of the person you want to call that is on your list and the CA will dial the number.
  • Personal Pass Code- Protect your speed dial list with an established personal pass code. When you are away from your normal.

Using A Payphone

You can access the Tennessee Relay Service from any payphone. No coins are needed. Local calls are free. Long-distance calls can be made using any of the six (6) billing options.