The April 20 and July 3 issues of the Legislative Update reported on a rule proposed by the Private Security Board of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) relating to door-to-door security alarm sales.  DPS recently adopted the rule without changes to the proposed text.  It became effective June 11, 2012, and provides as follows:

37 Tex. Admin. Code § 35.47: Residential Solicitation

A license holder or employee of a license holder who offers or attempts to sell regulated goods or services to a homeowner or resident of a home or apartment through direct physical contact, including door to door solicitation, shall:

(1) carry a department-issued pocket card, or a receipt of registration issued by the department, and present said pocket card or proof of registration for inspection to the homeowner or resident;

(2) inform the homeowner or resident of the person's name and employer's name;

(3) provide to the homeowner or resident, at no charge, a document or business card listing the person's name, employer's name, address, phone number, license number, and the department's phone number with instructions on how to contact or file a complaint with the department;

(4) not approach or solicit a home or residence during any times where a placard is displayed indicating that the homeowner or residential occupant does not wish to be solicited;

(5) comply with any applicable door-to-door solicitation ordinance consistent with state and federal law; and

(6) provide to the local law enforcement agency with primary jurisdiction a written list of all registrants that will be engaging in the door-to-door solicitation of its residents before any solicitation occurs. The licensed company shall update the information provided to the department if there are any changes to the list. This notification can be made via fax, email, regular mail, or by hand delivery to the agency. This notification shall include the company name and department-issued license number.

The adopted rule, among other things, requires 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.”  Whether 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, is a matter that each city should decide after consultation with its city attorney.

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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