Solicitors Knocking On Your Door?

NOTE (April 25, 2013):

Since this article was published, it was determined that the Mountain View City Code provision that limited permissible solicitation (Sec. 21.28.3) was repealed in 2002. Currently,  the Mountain View City Code does not restrict the hours of solicitation.

It should also be noted that generally, someone that sells goods or services must obtain a solicitation license each day they solicit in the City of Mountain View; however, non-profit and charitable organizations do not have to pay the daily solicitation license fee ($5).


Who are they?

Per The City of Mountain View city ordinance (MVCO) Sec. 18.1, a solicitor or peddler is defined as, “…any person going from door to door or doing business at any place other than in a permanent store building, selling, taking orders for or directing the selling, taking orders for or soliciting orders for goods, wares, merchandise or services.” Solicitors must pay a license/permit fee of $5/day to the City and the application to do so is purchased from the finance department at City Hall. All legally operating solicitors must display their photo ID along with a receipt from the City (shown below). The receipt will have the solicitor’s name and organization on it. This should match their photo ID.


If the solicitors are acting aggressively, trying to get inside your home, asking personal questions, or otherwise acting suspiciously, please don’t hesitate to call MVPD. Call 903-6395 or if you feel threatened, call 9-1-1. Try to provide a detailed clothing description and direction of travel.  MVPD officers will attempt to locate the person(s) and will check to see if they are operating legally.

Important: Avoid pretending to not be home when solicitors knock on your door. Instead, use your peephole to see who it is. Talk to solicitors through the door or a window. Do not feel that you need to open the door. If you are not interested in what’s being offered, tell them without opening the door.

When must they stop?

Solicitors have to stop their activities between 6:00 pm and 9:00 am on Monday through Saturday or at any time on Sunday (unless previously requested to do so by the person residing there).

5 thoughts on “Solicitors Knocking On Your Door?


    I saw a solicitor walking around our apartment complex around 7:30pm this evening, wearing a light blue shirt carrying a black folder. The first time, someone did knocked on our door after 6:00pm a couple of months ago. I didn’t open the door, acknowledge that I was home. He was selling San Jose Mercury newspaper. I would tell them I’m not interested if they knock on my door, there’s a door between me and them. I feel uneasy when I am outside my house when I see one because of the incidents that are happening in Mountain View. Should I be concerned about these solicitors?

    1. Mountain View PD

      This is a great questions, Jocelyn. Use your best judgment when it comes to dealing with people you don’t know irrespective of whether or not they’re solicitors. If you’re outside your home and have already told the solicitor(s) “no thank you,” but they continue to persist, feel free to call us after you go inside your home.

      If what they’re selling is of interest to you, it’s always a good idea to make sure they’re legitimate by asking for their permit and photo ID, which should match the name on the permit. The solicitor(s) should have nothing to hide if they’re on the up-and-up.

      We’d also recommend you read this post if you haven’t done so already: It provides additional neighborhood safety tips.

      Never hesitate to contact us if you are concerned for your safety or have a feeling something isn’t quite right!

  2. Pingback: Alert Gest Ranch Resident’s Prompt Call Leads To Arrest Of Three Suspects | Mountain View Police

  3. -D

    Long long long time ago when I was living in an apt in San Jose, one evening a kid (best guess around 12 years old) knock and try to sell newspaper. I did had the door open and when I express not interested, he started to talk about other things and at some point, he pull up his shirt showing a .22 or .38 type of small semi-automatic. I slam the door shut immediately. This is some 20 years ago, today, with all those kids & firearm incidents around the country, the kind of risk involve solicitors and residents might greatly increased.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s