Chapter 5.08
PEDDLERS, SOLICITORS, AND CANVASSERS

Sections:

5.08.005    Purpose.

5.08.010    Peddler, solicitor, or canvasser defined.

5.08.020    License required – Exceptions.

5.08.030    Application – Fee.

5.08.035    Restrictions on place and time of peddling, soliciting, or canvassing.

5.08.040    Penalty.

5.08.005 Purpose.

(A) The city council finds that public health, safety, and welfare requires that the citizens of the city be provided with information relating to persons and organizations who peddle, solicit, and canvass within the city, that such activities be regulated, and that the citizens of the city be protected from deceptive and dishonest practices. (Ord. 2546 § 2 (part), 2010).

5.08.010 Peddler, solicitor, or canvasser defined.

(A) A “peddler,” “solicitor,” or “canvasser” is defined as any person, either a principal or agent, who goes from place to place within the city, and who:

(1) Sells, take orders for, or offers to sell, any goods, wares, or merchandise whether or not collecting in advance for such goods, wares or merchandise; and/or

(2) Sells, take orders for, or offers to sell services, whether or not collecting in advance for such services; and/or

(3) Seeks contributions or donations to private causes, as opposed to tax-exempt charities; and/or

(4) Seeks opinions, preferences or other information for commercial purposes. (Ord. 2546 § 2 (part), 2010: Ord. 1418 § 1, 1988: Ord. 43 § 2, 1926).

5.08.020 License required – Exceptions.

(A) Any person seeking to engage in business as a peddler, solicitor, or canvasser shall first obtain a peddler, solicitor, or canvasser license as provided for in this chapter.

(B) Exceptions. No person shall be required to take out a license or pay a fee:

(1) For the peddling of local newspapers;

(2) For the peddling of fruits, vegetables, berries, butter, eggs, fish, milk, poultry, meats, or any farm produce or edibles raised, caught, produced or manufactured by such person in any place in this state;

(3) When that person, after having been specifically requested by another to do so, calls upon that other person for the purpose of displaying goods, literature or giving information about any article, thing, product or service;

(4) When that person is acting in his or her capacity as a member of a charitable, religious or nonprofit organization or corporation which has received tax exempt status under 26 U.S.C. Sec. 501(c)(3) or other similar civic, charitable or nonprofit organizations;

(5) When a person is engaged in political or other First Amendment speech or solicitation; or

(6) When that person’s peddling or solicitation consists exclusively of the solicitation of order(s) to be filled solely by interstate shipment on behalf of businesses that do not maintain a place of intrastate business in the state of Washington. (Ord. 2546 § 2 (part), 2010: Ord. 1418 § 2, 1988: Ord. 809 § 1, 1978: Ord. 43 § 1, 1926).

5.08.030 Application – Fee.

(A) Every peddler, solicitor, or canvasser, other than those exempt under this chapter, whether principal or agent, shall before commencing business in the city make application in writing on a form to be provided by the finance director. The application shall include an authorization allowing release of all Washington State criminal history record information to the finance department.

(B) Except as provided in this subsection, at the time of the filing of the application, a fee in an amount set by council resolution shall be paid to the finance director to cover the costs of obtaining a criminal history conviction record from Washington State Patrol’s Washington Access to Criminal History (WATCH) website and processing the application. Veterans who present a certificate of honorable discharge to the finance director shall be exempt from payment of the fee as provided in RCW 73.04.050 through 73.04.060.

(C) The finance director shall refer the application and the WATCH report to the chief of police or designee, who shall review the criminal history conviction report of the applicant if applicable. Upon completion, the chief of police or designee shall forward the results of the review to the finance director.

(D) If, as a result of the investigation, the applicant is not found to have committed any of the acts requiring denial as listed below, the finance director shall, upon payment of the prescribed fee, issue the license to the applicant. The finance director shall deny the applicant the license if the applicant has:

(1) Committed any act consisting of fraud or misrepresentation;

(2) Committed any act which, if committed by a licensee, would be grounds for suspension or revocation of a license;

(3) Within the previous ten years, been convicted of a felony directly relating to his or her fitness to engage in the occupation of peddler, and including, but not limited to, those felonies involving moral turpitude, fraud or misrepresentation;

(4) Been charged with a felony of the type defined in subdivision 3 of this subsection, and disposition of that charge is still pending;

(5) Been refused a license under the provisions of this chapter; provided, however, that any applicant denied a license under the provisions of this chapter may reapply if and when the reasons for denial no longer exist; and

(6) Made any false or misleading statements in the application.

(E) Every peddler, solicitor, or canvasser shall be required to carry the peddler’s, solicitor’s or canvasser’s license and display it along with photo identification upon request by a prospective customer or law enforcement officer.

(F) The finance director is authorized to promulgate rules regarding the manner and method of payment, including a prohibition or regulation of payment by check.

(1) Any person who submits a peddler, solicitor, or canvasser license fee payment by check to the city pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be assessed a NSF fee set by the finance director if the check is returned unpaid by a bank or other financial institution for insufficient funds in the account or for any other reason. (Ord. 2546 § 2 (part), 2010: Ord. 1480 § 3, 1989; Ord. 1418 § 1, 1988: Ord. 809 § 2, 1978: Ord. 43 § 3, 1926).

5.08.035 Restrictions on place and time of peddling, soliciting, or canvassing.

(A) No peddler, solicitor, or canvasser shall engage or attempt to engage in the business of peddling, soliciting, or canvassing at any home, residence, apartment complex or business that prominently displays a “No Peddlers” or “No Solicitors” sign or any other similar sign that communicates the occupants’ desire to not be contacted by peddlers, solicitors, or canvassers.

(B) No peddler, solicitor, or canvasser shall engage in the business of peddling, soliciting, or canvassing between the hours of nine p.m. and nine a.m. (Ord. 2546 § 2 (part), 2010: Ord. 1418 § 4, 1988).

5.08.040 Penalty.

Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, shall be punished as provided in Section 1.01.110. (Ord. 2546 § 2 (part), 2010: Ord. 43 § 4, 1926).