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2100 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 981-5900, TDD: (510) 981-5799, police@ci.berkeley.ca.us

 

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Crime Prevention Information 
Community Services Bureau
(510) 981-5808 

DOOR TO DOOR SOLICITATION

Lately we have received many questions about persons going door to door soliciting. There are many different laws which apply to door to door soliciting. We have included some of them below.

If you feel that the person who has come to your door is trying to sell or solicit anything under false pretences, please immediately telephone the police at 981-5900. If the solicitor threatens, intimidates you or refuses to leave, please dial 911 for immediate service.

We also recommend that you acknowledge anyone knocking at your door or ringing the door bell. 
After not answering a knock at the door, residents occasionally find that they were victimized by the person who had just knocked at their door. You should never open the door to someone you do not know, but always acknowledge that you are home. If you prefer, go to the door with the phone in your hand.

None of this is intended to say that all persons going door to door are doing so illegally or that they are criminals, although historically, there have been many persons soliciting under false pretences. You are the only who can decide if you feel that the solicitation is suspicious. If you are not certain, call BPD for assistance. You have the right to ask them to leave printed materials so that you can check into the business or organization. Then you are able to do your own research and if you decide, you may send them a check at a later time. Never provide a door to door solicitor with a check or credit card number.
As you may know, identity theft is the fastest growing crime internationally.

There may also be a correlation between someone soliciting and persons casing your house and neighborhood for burglaries. Even if you do not give someone money or buy their products, someone else in your neighborhood may become a victim. Call the police anytime you feel the person or solicitation is possibly illegal. It is also a good idea to let your neighbors know, in case the solicitor tries to victimize them also.

Berkeley Municipal Codes related to door to door solicitation - the full text of these codes may be reviewed via the Police or City web sites or at the City Clerks office.

Solicitors must have a solicitor/vendor permit in their immediate possession and show it on demand - BMC 9.40.140 - sample attached below.

Hours for door to door solicitation - 0800am to 700pm, seven days a week - BMC 9.40.180

Unlawful to enter any property that is posted No Soliciting, No Peddling, No Agents or other similar verbiage - BMC 9.40.170. This does not include religious organizations or groups.

Soliciting defined - sell, take orders, offer to sell, offer to take orders for merchandise, wares, goods or anything - 9.40.010

Solicitor permits are issued through the Finance Department after each solicitor's background is screened by the Berkeley Police Department. The company that hires the solicitors must also have a business license in Berkeley.

sample vendor or solicitor permit