On April 6, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) proposed rules that would tighten regulations on door-to-door security alarm salespersons.  The stated purpose of the proposed rules is to “provide assurance to the public and to local law enforcement that those who engage in residential solicitation of private security services are properly licensed with the department.”   The proposed rules also indicate that an alarm company selling its services through door-to-door solicitation would be subject to a city ordinance regulating door-to-door solicitations.    

Alarm companies are considered to be “security services contractors” under Chapter 1702 of the Texas Occupations Code.  As such, they are licensed by the DPS.  Because alarm companies are regulated by the State of Texas, they are not required to pay a specific “local permit or licensing fee” to a city to perform their services.  However, many Texas cities assert their right to impose municipal licensing requirements and related fees under generally-applicable ordinances that apply to all peddlers.

In recent years, many such cities have received correspondence from home alarm companies stating that they are exempt from all “license or permitting fees” charged by Texas cities, including fees and permits under a municipal peddler ordinance. 

The proposed rules would, among other things, require a company that solicits residents for the purpose of selling private security services to “comply with any applicable door-to-door solicitation ordinance consistent with state and federal law.”  Presumably, this could include the requirement that the company pay for a permit in accordance with a city’s peddler ordinance, just as any other individual or entity wishing to engage in door-to-door sales. 

The proposed rules from the April 6, 2012, Texas Register are available at:

Interested cities may submit comments on the proposed rules to Steve Moninger, Office of Regulatory Counsel, Regulatory Services Division, Department of Public Safety, P.O. Box 4087, MSC-0246, Austin, Texas 78752-0246, (512) 424-5842.  Comments are due by May 6, 2012.    

TML member cities may use the material herein for any purpose. No other person or entity may reproduce, duplicate, or distribute any part of this document without the written authorization of the Texas Municipal League.

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