You may be surprised to learn that door-to-door soliciting is legal in the United States.
The Supreme Court has ruled that traveling salespeople have a constitutional right to be there, subject to reasonable regulations, upholding their right to free speech for commercial purposes.
In Park Ridge, all commercial door-to-door solicitors are required to have a permit issued by the City. A permit, however, does not represent an endorsement from, or partnership with, the City of Park Ridge.
Application For Solicitor Permit
- Those engaged in the act of obtaining orders for the purchase of goods, wares, merchandise, foodstuffs, real or personal property or services for any consideration
- Those seeking to obtain customers for application or purchase of insurance of any type, kind, or character
- Those seeking to obtain subscriptions to books, magazines, periodicals, newspapers or any other type of solicitation
- Minors under the age of 18 who solicit for fundraising activities, e.g. Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, students selling high school-sponsored items
- Politicians, candidates and religious groups
Yes, solicitors must receive a permit to solicit in the City. Solicitors must also complete a Police Department fingerprint-based background check as well as adhere to specific guidelines and rules regulating solicitation. Political canvassing and religious proselytizing (those seeking converts or preaching) do not require a permit.
Solicitors are permitted to operate from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm.
Yes, all solicitors should always have a City issued photo-identification badge visible on their outer garment. The City also gives solicitors a special lanyard from which to hang the badge. If a solicitor does not display or cannot produce a solicitor’s badge or permit, they may not be licensed to solicit within the City.
The First amendment protects the rights of door-to-door solicitors and precludes the ability of a community to ban door-to-door sales. The City’s ability to restrict solicitation, peddling and canvassing is limited to local regulations restricting the time, place and manner of door-to-door solicitations. Homeowners and occupants, however, do have the ultimate right to determine whether solicitors shall or shall not be invited to their residences or property.
Free “No Solicitors” stickers are available at City Hall. Solicitors are required to comply with the notice provided by the sticker posted on or near your front door. If a solicitor disobeys the notice, you may contact the Park Ridge Police 847-318-5252 to file a complaint. With or without a sticker, residents should not ever be afraid to enforce boundaries by refusing to answer the door or by saying “no thank you” and shutting and locking the door.
If you feel that a solicitor was pushy or rude, you may wish to contact the solicitor’s company or organization to report your experience. If a solicitor makes you feel unsafe or if you believe that a solicitor is violating the City’s ordinance, call 911.
Energy suppliers (such as natural gas or electric) and telecommunications companies (such as cable or telephone companies) must apply for solicitor permits. If you choose to consider an alternative energy supplier, the City encourages you to learn more about suppliers by visiting the Illinois Commerce Commission’s website at www.pluginillinois.org
. Be sure to choose prices to compare for the ComEd service territory.
Residents should never compromise their security by providing utility account information to anyone unless they intend to enroll in an alternate energy program of their own choosing. If you choose to show a solicitor your bill, remember to remove or conceal your personal account information.
A common strategy among ruse burglars is to lure a homeowner out of their home so their accomplice can enter the home and search for easy-to-carry valuables. The City recommends that you not leave your home unattended while speaking with a solicitor.
If you EVER feel unsafe, please call 911. If you have questions about a solicitor call City Hall at 847-318-5209. If you have a complaint about aggressive or deceptive practices of a business, you may file a consumer complaint with the Illinois Attorney General’s Office at (800) 243-0618. If the complaint involves a utility or retail energy supplier, residents are urged to contact the Illinois Commerce Commission Consumer Services Division which regulates energy retailers by phone at (800) 524-0795 or online at www.icc.illinois.gov/consumer/complaint