4.16.010:    Definitions

4.16.020:    License Required; Term

4.16.030:    Application For License; Required Information

4.16.040:    License Fee

4.16.050:    Proof Of Public Liability Insurance Required

4.16.060:    Investigation Of Applicant; License Issuance

4.16.070:    License Nontransferable

4.16.080:    Exhibition Of License

4.16.090:    License Exemptions

4.16.100:    Revocation Of License

4.16.110:    Permit Requirements For Soliciting

4.16.120:    Loud Noises And Speaking Devices

4.16.130:    Use Of Streets

4.16.140:    Peddling Or Soliciting At Registered Premises

4.16.150:    Enforcement; Record Of Violations

4.16.160:    Appeal Procedure


As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section:


Any individual, whether resident of the city or not, traveling either by foot, wagon, automobile, motor truck or any other type of conveyance, from place to place, from house to house or from street to street, taking or attempting to take orders for sales of goods, wares and merchandise, personal property of any nature whatsoever for future delivery or for services to be furnished or performed in the future, whether or not such individual has, carries or exposes for sale a sample of the subject of such sale or whether he/she is collecting advance payment on such sales or not; provided, that such definition shall include any person who, for him/herself or for another person, firm or corporation, hires, leases, uses or occupies any building, structure, tent, railroad car, boat, hotel room, lodging house, apartment, shop or any other place within the city for the sole purpose of exhibiting samples and taking orders for future delivery. However, this definition shall not apply to situations in which sample goods are exhibited in a private residence for the purpose of taking orders from potential customers who are present at said residence by specific invitation only.


Includes any person, whether a resident of the city or not, traveling by foot, wagon, automotive vehicle or any other type of conveyance, from place to place, from street to street, carrying, conveying or transporting goods, wares, merchandise, meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, garden truck, farm products or provisions, offering and exposing the same for sale or making sales, delivering articles to purchasers or who, without traveling from place to place, shall sell or offer the same for sale from a wagon, automotive vehicle, railroad car or other vehicle or conveyance; and further provided, that one who solicits orders and, as a separate transaction, makes deliveries to purchasers as a part of a scheme or design to evade the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed a peddler subject to the provisions of this chapter. "Peddler" includes "hawker" and "huckster".


Includes the singular and the plural and also means and includes any person, firm or corporation, association, club, copartnership or society or any other organization.


Any person, firm or corporation, whether as owner, agent, consignee or employee, whether a resident of the city or not, who engages in a temporary business of selling and delivering goods, wares and merchandise within the city, and who, in furtherance of such purpose, hires, leases, uses or occupies a temporary location in the city, including, but not limited to, a building, structure, motor vehicle, tent, railroad boxcar, boat, public rooms in hotels, lodging houses, apartments, shops, parking lot or any street or alley for the exhibition and sale of such goods, wares and merchandise, either privately or at public auction. (1972 Code § 5.16.010)


A.    License Required: It is unlawful for any "solicitor, canvasser, transient merchant, itinerant merchant, itinerant vendor or peddler", as defined in section 4.16.010 of this chapter, to engage in business within the city limits without first obtaining a license therefor in compliance with provisions of this chapter. (1972 Code § 5.16.020)

B.    License Expiration: All licenses issued under the provisions of this chapter shall expire on June 30. (1972 Code § 5.16.170)


Applicants for license as canvassers, solicitors, peddlers, transient merchants, itinerant merchants or itinerant vendors under this chapter must file with the city clerk a sworn application, in writing (in duplicate), on a form to be furnished by the city clerk, which shall give the following information:

A.    Name and description of the applicant.

B.    Permanent home address and full local address of the applicant. If the applicant is a partnership or corporation, the application must provide the names of all partners of the corporate president and the names and permanent addresses of the persons who will have management and/or supervisory control over any individual doing business on behalf of said partnership or corporation within the city.

C.    A brief description of the nature of the business and the goods to be sold. In the case of products of farm or orchard, the applicant shall indicate whether the products are produced or grown by the applicant.

D.    If employed, the name, address and telephone number of the employer, together with credentials establishing the exact relationship. The applicant shall also provide documents which serve to prove that the applicant has been authorized to act as a representative for a given person, firm, partnership or corporation.

E.    The place or places in the city where the applicant proposes to carry on business and the length of time for which the right to do business is desired.

F.    The place where the goods or property proposed to be sold, or orders taken from the sale thereof, are manufactured or produced, where such goods or products are located at the time the application is filed and the proposed method of delivery. If a vehicle is to be used during the course of the sale of the goods, a description of said vehicle together with a license number or other form of identification.

G.    A photograph of the applicant, taken within sixty (60) days immediately prior to the date of the filing of the applicant, which picture shall be two inches by two inches (2" x 2") showing the head and shoulders of the applicant in a clear and distinguishable manner.

H.    The fingerprints of the applicant and the names of at least two (2) reliable property owners in the county, who will certify as to the applicant’s good character and business responsibility of the applicant as will enable an investigator to properly evaluate such character and business responsibility. If the applicant is a partnership or corporation, or employed by a partnership or corporation, the application must include the fingerprints of the persons having the management or supervision of the applicant’s business, or, as above, the applicant may submit other evidence of the good character and credibility of said individuals.

I.    A brief statement of the nature and character of advertising, if any, proposed to be used to attract customers.

J.    A statement as to whether or not the applicant, or any person having management or supervisory authority over the applicant’s business, has been convicted of any crime, misdemeanor or violation of any municipal ordinance, the nature of the offense and the punishment or penalty assessed therefor.

K.    Proof of possession of any license or permit, including a temporary use of land permit, which, under federal, state or local laws or regulations, the applicant is required to have in order to conduct the proposed business or which, under any such law or regulation, would exempt the applicant from the licensing requirement of this chapter. (1972 Code § 5.16.021)

4.16.040 LICENSE FEE:

At the time the application is filed with the city clerk, the applicant shall pay a fee sufficient to cover the cost to the city of processing the application. The amount of the fee shall be established and, from time to time, may be amended by resolution of the city council. (1972 Code § 5.16.055)


A.    Insurance Requirement:

1.    Any application for a permit or license which requests authorization to conduct business from a conveyance located on a public right of way shall not be issued until the applicant provides evidence to the satisfaction of the chief of police of public liability and property damage insurance in such form and amount as may be required by the city to protect the city, its officials, directors, officers, employees and agents from claims which may arise from the permittee’s or licensee’s activities under such permit or license.

2.    Such insurance shall be maintained during the term of the permit or license.

B.    Responsibility Of Permittee Or Licensee:

1.    A permittee or licensee shall be responsible for all liability for personal injury or property damage which may result from said individual’s activities under a permit or license or proximately caused by failure on the permittee’s or licensee’s part to perform his/her obligations under such permit or license.

2.    If any claim of such liability is made against the city, its officials, directors, officers, employees or agents, the permittee or licensee shall defend, indemnify and hold them and each of them harmless from such claim, including any claim based on the active or passive negligence of the city, its officials, directors, officers, employees or agents, insofar as permitted by law. (1972 Code § 5.16.022)


A.    Investigation: Upon receipt of an application of a canvasser, solicitor, peddler, transient merchant, itinerant merchant or itinerant vendor, the original shall be referred to the chief of police, who shall cause such investigation of the applicant’s business and moral character to be made as he/she deems necessary for the protection of the public health, safety and general welfare.

B.    Disapproval Of Application; Notice:

1.    If, as a result of such investigation, the applicant’s character or business responsibility is found to represent a danger to the public health, safety or general welfare, the chief of police shall endorse on such application his/her disapproval and his/her reasons for the same and return the application to the city clerk, who shall notify the applicant that his/her application is disapproved and that no license will be issued.

2.    Said notice shall be mailed to the applicant at the address shown on the application form or at the applicant’s last known address.

C.    Approval Of Application; License Issuance:

1.    If, as a result of such investigation, the character and business responsibility of the applicant are found to pose no danger to the public health, safety or general welfare, the chief of police shall endorse on the application his/her approval and return the application to the city clerk, who shall, upon payment of the prescribed license fee, deliver to the applicant a license.

2.    Such license shall contain the signature and seal of the issuing officer and shall show the name, address and photograph of the licensee, the class of license issued and the kind of goods to be sold thereunder or business to be transacted, the amount of the fee paid, the date of issuance and the expiration date of the license, as well as the license number and other identifying description of any vehicle used in such soliciting or canvassing or peddling.

3.    Where applicable, the license shall also indicate the place where the business may be carried on pursuant to the license and the name or names of persons authorized to carry on said business.

4.    The city clerk shall keep a permanent record of all licenses issued. (1972 Code § 5.16.060)


No license or badge issued under the provisions of this chapter shall be used or worn at any time by any person other than the one to whom it was issued. (1972 Code § 5.16.090)


All persons licensed under the provisions of this chapter are required to carry their licenses upon their person at all times while conducting business within the city and to exhibit said license at the request of a Gonzales public official, peace officer or citizen. (1972 Code § 5.16.120)


A.    Charitable Soliciting:

1.    Notwithstanding any other provisions of this code, charitable organizations which have established their status within the city as such and have been approved by the city council by resolution or ordinance shall be exempt from the regulatory provisions of this code and shall not be required to pay any fee.

2.    Such organizations shall supply the chief of police with a list of all management and/or supervisory personnel prior to any fund drive, indicating thereon the names and addresses of said individuals as well as the dates and areas of solicitation.

3.    To qualify for the exemption provided herein for solicitors’ permits and license requirement, a verified statement or affidavit shall be filed with the city and shall be subscribed by the president or other duly authorized officer of the organization; such statement or affidavit shall include the following facts, each of which shall be a condition precedent to eligibility for exemption:

a.    The organization must be nonprofit as determined by applicable regulations and definitions of the corporation commissioner of the state of California.

b.    The organization must maintain books of account which are subject to audit and open for inspection by the general public.

c.    At least seventy five percent (75%) of the proceeds of the solicitation must be applied to the charitable, philanthropic or nonprofit purposes of the organization. Solicitation expenses shall not exceed twenty five percent (25%) of the amount collected.

d.    The organization shall conduct not more than one solicitation or fundraising drive per year within the city, which drive shall not exceed thirty (30) days in length.

e.    Solicitors engaged in direct fundraising activities shall be residents of the county of Monterey and shall receive no compensation for their work. (1972 Code § 5.16.180)

B.    Insurance Code Licenses:

1.    Persons licensed under chapter 5, part 2, division 1 of the Insurance Code of the state of California1 shall be exempt from the provisions of this code insofar as it may pertain to the personal or professional qualifications of said persons. Such persons shall be bound by all portions of this code relating to time, place and manner of solicitation. (1972 Code § 5.16.190)

2.    Persons qualified for exemption under this section shall present proof of such qualification to the city clerk. (1972 Code § 5.16.190; amd. 2003 Code)


A.    Causes For Revocation: Licenses issued under the provisions of this chapter may be revoked by the chief of police, after notice and hearing, for any of the following causes:

1.    Fraud, misrepresentation or false statement contained in the application for license.

2.    Fraud, misrepresentation or false statement made in the course of carrying on his/her business as peddler, canvasser, solicitor, transient merchant, itinerant merchant or itinerant vendor.

3.    Any violation of the provisions of this chapter.

4.    Conviction of any crime or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.

5.    Conducting the business of peddling in an unlawful manner or in such a manner as to constitute a breach of the peace or to constitute a menace to the health, safety or general welfare of the public.

6.    A subsequent determination that facts exist which, pursuant to any of the causes listed above, would have required denial of the permit or license at the time of application.

B.    Notice Of Hearing: Notice of the hearing for revocation of a license shall be given in writing, setting forth specifically the grounds of complaint and the time and place of hearing. Such notice shall be mailed, postage prepaid, to the licensee at his/her last known address at least five (5) days prior to the date set for hearing.

C.    Immediate Threat:

1.    In instances in which the chief of police determines that the continuance of business authorized under a duly issued permit or license represents an immediate threat to the health, safety or general welfare of the public, pursuant to the causes set out in subsection A of this section, a permit or license may be immediately suspended pending a revocation hearing.

2.    In all such instances, the revocation hearing must be held no later than ten (10) days from the date of suspension. (1972 Code § 5.16.150)


A.    Permit Required:

1.    Charitable Solicitation: No person, without first having applied for and received a permit from the chief of police, as provided in this chapter, shall make any appeal to the public for a charity or charitable or religious purpose, either by soliciting or collecting gifts, contributions, donations or subscriptions or by promoting or conducting any sale, bazaar or exhibition or by any other means whatsoever at any place or to any person in the city. (1972 Code § 5.16.200)

2.    Selling Or Soliciting Tickets: No person, without first having applied for and received a permit from the chief of police, as provided in this chapter, shall sell or solicit for or on behalf of any person, firm, association or corporation, by telephone or otherwise, for the sale of any ticket or right to admission to any amusement, show, entertainment, lecture or other enterprise not regularly carried on for private profit or gain by such person, firm, association or corporation at a fixed place of business in the city, or solicit any contribution or gift in connection with any such amusement, show, entertainment, lecture or other enterprise where such sale or solicitation is for other than a charitable purpose and is made by persons other than the bona fide members of the firm, association or corporation causing such solicitation or sale, or for or on whose behalf such solicitation or sale is made, and where, in connection with any such amusement, show, entertainment, lecture, or other enterprise it is represented, advertised, held out, implied or made to appear that such sale, solicitation, contribution or gift or any part of the proceeds therefrom shall belong to or be devoted or used for the benefit of any person, firm, association or corporation. (1972 Code § 5.16.210)

B.    Application For Permit: Any person desiring to do any of the acts mentioned in subsection A1 or A2 of this section shall file an application with the chief of police. The application shall set forth the following information:

1.    Name and address of the applicant, whether the applicant is affiliated with or working for any other organization than the one for which this solicitation is intended;

2.    Location of national, state and local headquarters, if any;

3.    The names and addresses of all persons directly interested in or who in any manner will be engaged in the work;

4.    The exact purpose for which the proceeds of the solicitation, sale, bazaar, exhibition, promotion, amusement, show, lecture, entertainment or other enterprise or any part thereof, are to be used, including the manner in which and the amount of any compensation intended to be paid to any person, firm, association, or corporation out of such proceeds;

5.    The total amount which is sought to be raised;

6.    The bank or place where all or any part of the funds raised by such activity will be placed on deposit or invested;

7.    What records of funds received will be kept and where; where such records will be open to the public;

8.    Whether the uniform or identification worn or carried resembles that of any other group in this area conducting a similar type of activity;

9.    Such other information in respect to the character and past and proposed activity of the applicant and the parties directly interested in or engaged in the work as may be necessary to enable the chief of police to make a full and complete investigation. (1972 Code § 5.16.220)

C.    Investigation Of Applicant: The chief of police, upon receipt of an application complying with the requirements of subsection B of this section and containing the information required thereby, shall conduct such investigation as he may deem necessary. (1972 Code § 5.16.230)

D.    Issuance Or Denial Of Permit; Bond:

1.    Should the chief of police, after a complete investigation of the applicant and of the representations contained in the application, be of the opinion that the applicant has not stated true facts in his application, or that if a permit should be granted to the applicant, a fraud in all probability would be perpetrated upon the public, the chief of police may refuse to issue a permit to such applicant. (1972 Code § 5.16.240)

2.    Should the chief of police be satisfied that the application is truthful, that the applicant is acting in good faith and that in all probability a fraud would not be perpetrated upon the public, a permit shall be issued to such applicant for such period of time as the applicant may request; provided however, that no permit shall be valid for a period of more than six (6) months from the date of issuance; and, provided further, that as a condition to granting such permit, the chief of police may require the applicant to file a bond with the city clerk in the sum of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00) in a form approved by the city attorney and conditioned that if the principal thereof shall fail to devote, pay or use the entire proceeds, or the percentage thereof specified in the application, derived from the activity mentioned in the application to the person, firm, association or corporation for or on whose account or benefit such activity was conducted or carried on, then the surety will pay the same to such person, firm, association or corporation, to the amount of such bond. (1972 Code § 5.16.240; amd. 2003 Code)

E.    Permit Exceptions:

1.    Soliciting Contributions: No permit shall be required for solicitation of gifts, contributions, donations, or subscriptions, or the promotion of any bazaar, sale, or exhibition or other act of appeal to the public for a charity, made by the members of any religious or charitable organization which has been in existence in, and which regularly has maintained headquarters or a place of worship in, the city for a period of at least five (5) years next preceding the date on which such activity shall be begun; provided, that the chief of police has issued a permit authorizing the conducting or carrying on of such activity by such organization. Applications for such permits shall be made to the chief of police within sixty (60) days from the effective date of this section and shall be issued by him in accordance with the standards provided in subsection D of this section. Such permits shall be valid until revoked by the chief of police. (1972 Code § 5.16.250)

2.    Solicitation By Mail: No permit shall be required for any solicitation through the United States mail. (1972 Code § 5.16.270)

F.    Telephone Solicitations: No person shall use or cause to be used a telephone to accomplish any of the acts set forth in subsection A1 or A2 of this chapter, unless such person is a bona fide member of an organization in whose name a permit has been issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter; and provided further, that such person making such solicitation does not receive any compensation therefor. (1972 Code § 5.16.280)

G.    Revocation Of Permit:

1.    Any permit issued may be revoked if the permittee is not operating in accordance with the application pursuant to which such permit was issued or if further activity of the permittee would operate to defraud the public.

2.    Such revocation may be made by a registered letter signed by the city clerk at the direction of the chief of police and directed to the address of the applicant as stated upon the application pursuant to which the permit was issued.

3.    The permit shall become null and void on and after the third day from the date after which the letter is deposited in the United States post office in the city. (1972 Code § 5.16.260)


A.    Loud Noise Prohibited: No person obtaining a license pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, nor any person acting in his/her behalf, shall shout, cry out or use any sound device, which includes any loudspeaking radio or sound amplifying system, upon any of the streets, alleys, parks or public places of the city or upon any private premises in the city where sound of sufficient volume is emitted or produced therefrom to be capable of being plainly heard upon the streets, avenues, alleys, parks or other public places for the purpose of attracting attention to any goods, wares or merchandise which the licensee proposes to sell.

B.    Judgment Of Police: For the purpose of this chapter, the judgment of a police officer, exercised in good faith, shall be deemed conclusive as to whether the sound being produced by said licensee or agent thereof can be plainly heard in any of the aforementioned locations in violation of this provision. (1972 Code § 5.16.100)

4.16.130 USE OF STREETS:

A.    Prohibition: No person licensed under the provisions of this chapter shall have any exclusive right to use or occupy any location in the public streets or in any other public place in the city, nor be permitted a stationary location or allowed to operate in any congested area where his/her operations might impede or inconvenience the public.

B.    Judgment Of Police: For the purpose of this chapter, the judgment of a police officer, exercised in good faith, shall be deemed conclusive as to whether the area is congested or the public impeded or inconvenienced. (1972 Code § 5.16.110)


A.    Registration By Property Owners: The city clerk shall keep a register to be signed by the owner, occupant or person legally in charge of any premises in the city who does not wish to be called upon by persons conducting the business of solicitor, peddler or transient vendor. The address of the subject premises shall be shown on the register opposite the signature of the registrant. (1972 Code § 5.16.121)

B.    Entry Unlawful: It shall be unlawful for any person, while conducting the business of solicitor, peddler or transient vendor, whether licensed or unlicensed, to enter upon any premises in the city where: 1) the owner, occupant or person legally in charge of said premises has signed the register referred to in subsection A of this section; and 2) said owner, occupant or person in charge of the premises has posted, at the entry to the premises or at the entry to the principal building on said premises, a sign bearing the words "No Solicitors" or words of similar import. (1972 Code § 5.16.122)


A.    Enforcement Authority: It shall be the duty of any city police officer to require any person seen peddling or selling, and who is not known by such officer to be duly licensed, to produce his license and to enforce the provisions of this chapter against any person found to be violating the same. (1972 Code § 5.16.130)

B.    Records: The chief of police shall report to the city clerk all convictions for violation of this chapter, and the city clerk shall maintain a record for each license issued and record the reports of violation therein. (1972 Code § 5.16.140)


A.    Right To Appeal: Any person aggrieved by the action of the chief of police or the city clerk in the denial of an application for permit or license, as provided in section 4.16.060 of this chapter, or in the decision with reference to the revocation of a license as provided in section 4.16.100 of this chapter, shall have the right to appeal to the city council.

B.    File Grounds For Appeal: Such appeal shall be taken by filing with the council, within fifteen (15) days after notice of the action complained of has been mailed to such person’s last known address, a written statement setting forth fully the grounds for the appeal.

C.    Notice Of Hearing: The city clerk shall transmit the written statement to the city council, and the council shall set a time and place for a hearing on such appeal, and notice of such hearing shall be given to the appellant in the same manner as provided in section 4.16.100 of this chapter for notice of hearing on revocation.

D.    Council Decision Final: The decisions and order of the council on such appeal shall be final and conclusive. (1972 Code § 5.16.160)


Ins.C. § 1621 et seq.