TTY (Text Telephone)

People who are Deaf, hard of hearing, or have difficulty speaking can use a TTY (also known as a text telephone) to make and receive calls through Maryland Relay. A TTY has a keyboard, which allows the user to type his/her side of the conversation, and a text screen to read the other person’s responses.

How it Works

How a TTY phone conversation works
  • The TTY user types his/her side of the conversation on the TTY's keyboard.
  • A Maryland Relay Operator voices the TTY user's text to the other person.
  • As the other person speaks in response, the Operator types the spoken words, which the TTY user reads on his/her TTY text screen.

Except for their role in relaying the call, Operators do not participate in conversations for any reason. Furthermore, all conversations are kept confidential by law.

Note: Relay services are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Users wishing to file a complaint regarding a Relay calling experience may do so using the FCC's online complaint form.

To Make a TTY Call

  1. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-735-2258 to initiate a TTY call through Maryland Relay.
  2. The Maryland Relay Operator’s typed greeting, including the Operator’s identification number, will display on your TTY or VCO phone.
  3. When the Operator is finished typing, you will see the letters “GA.” This means “Go Ahead.” Click here to see a list of commonly used TTY abbreviations.
  4. Type the number of the person you want to call, along with any special calling instructions. Then type “GA.”
  5. The Operator will type to you that the phone is "DIALING", "RINGING", OR "BUSY."
  6. When the other person answers, the Operator types the greeting spoken by that person, and then types (m) if the person is male or (f) if the person is female.
  7. Wait until you see “GA” before typing your response. Do not forget to type “GA” when you are finished with your response.
  8. When the conversation is over, type "GA to SK", or "SK SK" to hang up. “SK” stands for “Stop Keying.”
  9. If you would like to make another call, do not hang up. The Operator will remain on the line, ready to assist you, the moment your conversation ends.

TTY-to-TTY direct calling is available, and does not require the service of a Relay Operator. To learn more about making and receiving TTY calls, download detailed instructions now or call 800-552-7724 or 410-767-6960 (Voice/TTY) or 443-453-5970 (Video Phone) to request TTY user training.

Apply for a TTY Provided by the State

TTYs and other assistive telephone devices are available through the Maryland Accessible Telecommunications (MAT) program for qualified Maryland residents. Learn more about the MAT program.

Make a TTY Call

Dial 7-1-1 or 800-735-2258

Download a User Guide

TTY Calling Instructions

Streamline Your Calls

Create a Customer Profile, a personal profile that automatically lets the Maryland Relay Operator know your communications preferences.

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