Fairfax County Police Department
Violations of Solicitor Regulations
Regulation and Licensing Branch, along with FCPD, has received numerous recent complaints about salesmen who are soliciting without a license (as required by Chapter 31) and who are using aggressive and deceptive sales tactics with consumers in the Mount Vernon, Mclean, Sully, and West Springfield districts. Consumers have reported that the salesmen bang incessantly on their door; try to push their way into their homes; use abusive language when they are refused entry into their home; and, if allowed in the home, use aggressive, high-pressure sales tactics to push the consumer into making a high-dollar purchases.
A solicitor license is required of each individual who goes door-to-door marketing goods and services. Solicitors are required by law to show their license to any prospective customer who requests it. They are also required to leave the premises when asked, may not solicit where “No Peddlers or Solicitors” signs are posted, and may only operate between the hours of 9:00 am and 8:00 pm.
Often solicitors will show customers an ID badge or some other document, claiming that they are licensed by Fairfax County when they are not. Legitimately licensed solicitors should always show their Fairfax County-issued license when a prospective customer asks for it.
The Solicitor’s License is an individual license, not a business license. If a solicitor tells you that his or her business has a license, the solicitor may not be properly licensed to solicit in Fairfax County.
The Fairfax County Solicitor’s License is a laminated card that displays the solicitor’s photograph, name, and personal information on the front side. The back side of the license displays the solicitor’s business information and thumbprints. It is valid for one year from date of issue.
If you have any questions about solicitor regulations, please contact the Fairfax County Regulation and Licensing Branch, Department of Cable and Consumer Services at 703-329-5966 or DCCS-RALB@fairfaxcounty.gov.
Pertinent Excepts from Chapter 31, Peddlers, Solicitors and Canvassers
Section 31-2-1. Licenses required; surrender of revoked or suspended licenses.
It shall be unlawful for any canvasser, peddler, or solicitor to engage in such business or act within the meaning and application of this Chapter within the County without first obtaining a license therefor in compliance with the provisions of this Article. … Any license issued pursuant to this Chapter shall remain the property of Fairfax County, Virginia, and upon written notification from the Director, any person who has been issued a license which has been suspended or revoked shall surrender and return that license to the Department. (2-18-70; 1961 Code, § 18-3; 16-73-31; 22-84-31; 10-93-31, § 1.)
Section 31-1-2. Prohibited acts.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any canvasser, peddler, or solicitor to ring the bell, or knock on the door, or otherwise attempt to gain admittance for the purpose of canvassing, peddling or soliciting at any residence, dwelling or apartment at which a sign bearing the words "No Peddlers or Solicitors" or words of similar import indicating that such persons are not wanted on said premises, is painted, affixed or otherwise exposed to public view.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any canvasser, peddler, or solicitor, to canvass, peddle, or solicit except between the hours of 9:00 A.M. and 8:00 P.M.
(c) It shall be unlawful for any canvasser, peddler, or solicitor to fail to disclose to the prospective buyer, upon request, his name and the name of the company, product or organization he represents, and if requested so to do, to leave the premises immediately.
(d) It shall be unlawful for any canvasser, peddler, or solicitor to make any assertion, representation or statement of fact which misrepresents the purpose of his call, or use any plan, scheme, or ruse which misrepresents such purpose.
(e) It shall be unlawful for any peddler or solicitor to fail to provide, at the request of the purchaser, a written receipt, which receipt shall be signed by the person making the sale and shall set forth a brief description of the goods or services sold, the total purchase price thereof, amount of cash payment, if any, and the balance due and terms of payment.
(f) It shall be unlawful for any person licensed pursuant to this Chapter to use or exploit the fact of being licensed so as to lead the public to believe that such registration in any manner constitutes an endorsement or approval by this County; provided, however, that the use of the following statement shall not be deemed a prohibited exploitation: “Licensed by the Director of the Fairfax County Department of Consumer Affairs as required by law.Licensing does not imply endorsement by Fairfax County.
To request this information in an alternate format, call the Reston District Station at 703.478.0904. TTY 711