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Are you tired of solicitors and unsolicited materials being left at your door?  Although impossible to restrict entirely, there are steps you can take to minimize these activities.

Please note that there is a difference between the distribution of written materials and soliciting.  Please read the entire article to understand the difference.

Distribution of Unwanted Written Materials:
The City of Arcadia has regulations concerning the distribution of unsolicited materials to homes and businesses. These regulations allow occupants more control over whether or not this kind of information can be left on their porch or door. While the City is not able to prohibit the complete distribution of written materials, as explained below, the City can regulate the matter to deal with the associated problems of littering and public safety.  It is worth noting that many of the companies who leave material at your home do not seek the appropriate permit from the City, nor do they have accurate contact information on the document.  As you might imagine, this makes it difficult for the City to actually reach and then stop an organization that is not acting within the regulations set forth.

Below is a summary of the City of Arcadia's regulations regarding the distribution of handbills:

  • The City Clerk's Office maintains a list of businesses and residences whose occupants have submitted a written expression of their unwillingness to receive unsolicited written material. This list is called the "Refusal Register." Property owners and occupants may place their name and address on this list and they may specify whether they wish to receive no unsolicited material at all, or from whom they do not wish to receive unsolicited written material. It is incumbent upon the company distributing the unsolicited written materials to obtain a copy of the most current Refusal Register prior to distributing said materials. Your name/address will be removed from the list at your request.
  • Unsolicited written material shall not be distributed to a business or residence that contains a (small, but readable) "no solicitation" sign conspicuously posted on or near the entrance or front door of the business or residence.  This is probably one of the best things you can do to stop both unwanted materials from being left at your door and solicitors.
  • The distribution of unsolicited written material to a location where there is accumulated and unremoved written material from the same distributor is prohibited.
  • In order to prevent the scattering of written material, unsolicited written material can be distributed only on the doorsteps or doorknobs of locations.
  • All unsolicited written material shall include the name, address and telephone number of the person/company responsible for the distribution.
  • The City, State of California and the United States Government are exempt from these regulations.
To place your property on the Refusal Register, please download and fill out the following form by clicking on the link below: 

Refusal Register Form 

Please complete and mail the form to: 
City of Arcadia
Attention: City Clerk's Office 
P.O. Box 60021
Arcadia, CA 91066

If you are unable to download the form, call (626) 574-5455 and ask to have one mailed to you, or simply state your request in letter form.

If you are on the Refusal Register and you receive unsolicited written material, please forward it to the City's Business License Officer (P.O. Box 60021, Arcadia, CA 91066) so that the appropriate action can be taken.

One of the most important things to know with regard to solicitations is that while cities can regulate the activity, they cannot have a blanket prohibition.  Generally speaking, the difference between solicitation and the distribution of written material is that the solicitor actually goes to the door of a location and makes contact with the resident or person at that address.  With the distribution of written material, the individual typically leaves this material at the location but does not make contact with the person at that address.  Having one's name on the Refusal Register will not affect solicitation, it will only theoretically stop unwanted written material from being left at their home or business.

Arcadia's solicitation process has provisions to stop peddlers and solicitors by the posting or affixing of a sign stating, "No Peddlers" or "No Solicitors," or words of a similar nature.  Therefore, if a person posts a no solicitation sign it should stop solicitors as well as unwanted written materials.  Again, having one's name on the Refusal Register will not stop solicitors.
If you have any questions about these activities, feel free to call the Business License Officer at (626) 574-5430.
Published: July 27, 2021