San Rafael, CA 94912

Frequently Asked Questions


The alarm ordinance is posted online on this website - The City of San Rafael, California - Ordinance No. Chapter 8.20 

The policy is aimed at cutting down on unnecessary police response, which is taxing on law enforcement resources.  Last year, San Rafael police responded too close to 3000 calls triggered by burglar alarms. It was the fourth-most frequent service call, and more than 99% were false alarms. 

Yes, they are. Across the nation, the growth of alarm system ownership has resulted in a tremendous number of false alarms. The response of false alarms has created an additional burden on law enforcement agencies. Nationwide, over 80% percent of all burglar alarms police respond to are false.

Make sure that you immediately report your false alarm to your alarm company, so they can cancel with police dispatch prior to police arrival to your home or business. Ensure that everyone in your household or business has been properly trained on your alarm system. Make sure your alarm system is in good working order and inspected periodically by your alarm company.  

Please complete theonline registration form 

You may also contact the San Rafael Police Department - Alarm Unit at 888-865-9770, Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm PT

Commercial / Residential Permit Registration Fee: $20.00

Commercial / Residential Annual Permit renewal Fee: $20.00

Failure to register or renew your alarm permit will result in an additional fine of $100.00. 

Everyone operating an intrusion detection alarm system inside the city limits is required to register their alarm system.

No, car alarms do not need to be registered.

The fees are used to offset the City’s administrative costs of the program.

False Alarms penalties in a Permit Year: 

A permit year is defined as a twelve (12) month period beginning on the day and month on which an alarm permit is issued.  

1) First false alarm during permit year: $50.00 

2) Second false alarm during permit year: $100.00 

3) Third false alarm during permit year: $150.00 

4) Fourth false alarm during permit year: $200.00

5) Fifth and subsequent false alarm during permit year: $250.00

6) Failure to register or failure to renew permit: $100.00

Excessive false alarms.

It is hereby found and determined that eight (8) or more false alarms within a permit year is excessive, constitutes a public nuisance, and shall be unlawful. After eight (8) false alarms within a permit year, the police response may be restricted to dispatching to only verified alarms.  

No, you will never be charged for an alarm activation that is not false.

A false alarm is defined in the ordinance as the activation of an alarm system when, upon observation by law enforcement, there is no evidence of unauthorized entry, robbery, or other such crime attempted in or on the premises. 

Yes, you can pay for any fees due on your account via this website by clicking on the home tab and logging in with credentials initiated by CitySupport and secured by the alarm user.

San Rafael Police Department - Alarm Unit

PO Box 11194

San Rafael, CA 94912

Yes, see guidelines on how to Appeal by going to False Alarm Fees tab or clicking on the link.  

Civil penalty(ies) shall be paid within thirty (30) days from the date of the administrative citation. The failure of an alarm user to make payment of any civil penalty(ies) assessed under this ordinance within thirty (30) days from the date of an administrative citation may result in discontinuance of law enforcement response to alarm signals that may occur at the premises described in the alarm user's permit until payment is received.  

If you received a duplicate alarm invoice, please contact us via email or call us at 888-865-9770, Monday through Friday from 9am - 5pm PT so we can delete the incorrect invoice(s). If you are directed to a voicemail box, please leave a message with your name, address, phone number and the account/permit numbers that need to be combined or deleted.