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If your business provides automatic renewing subscriptions to consumers, effective July 1, 2022, California’s Automatic Renewal Law (“ARL”), one of the most robust statues of its kind, will place stricter requirements on enrollment in (and cancellation from) paid subscription services.

The express purpose of the ARL is “to end the practice of ongoing charging of consumer credit or debit cards or third-party payment accounts without the consumers explicit consent for ongoing shipments of a product or ongoing deliveries of service.”  The law applies broadly to any business that makes an “automatic renewal offer or continuous service offer” to a consumer in California for yearlong subscriptions and free trials lasting more than 31 days.  For such subscriptions, the ARL imposes several disclosure, consent, and cancellation requirements, as well as reminder notices that must include the following:

  •      •The consumer must give “affirmative consent” to the recurring transaction to opt in
  •      •Inform the subscriber of any change in the cost of their subscription before an automatic renewal
  •      •Notice of the recurring nature of the transaction (or any material changes to the subscription agreement) must be given in a “clear and conspicuous manner”
  •      •The business must provide an “acknowledgement” of certain material information and an “easy-to-use mechanism for cancellation, as well as certain information about how to cancel;
  •      •If enrollment is possible online, cancellation must be possible online too


Businesses should also be aware that reminder messages must be sent out to subscribers between 3 and 21 days before renewal (for a 32+ day trial) or between 15 and 45 days before renewal (for a yearlong subscription) before the expiration of the trial period.  By specifying a notice renewal timeframe, this revision to the ARL aligns it closely to similar renewal laws in other states.

Violations of the ARL may be addressed by government enforcement actions and although the ARL does not contain a private right of action for aggrieved customers (i.e., class actions), some plaintiffs have attempted to bring lawsuits under other statutes, such as California’s Unfair Competition Law, potentially posing significant class action litigation risk to businesses with even minor infractions of the ARL.  Additionally, the ARL allows customers to treat goods as “unconditional gifts” when they find themselves in subscriptions to which they did not affirmatively consent.

Here at Epps and Coulson, LLP we work to remain up to date with the changes to the laws as they occur.  To learn more about the ARL in your state, and how we can help you, please contact Dawn at:

Information contained in this Memo is intended for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.  It is likely considered advertising.  Epps & Coulson, LLP encourages you to call to discuss these matters as they apply to you or your business.

Attorneys admitted to practice in California, New York, Colorado, Texas, and Oregon