Alarm Ordinance Bureau
P.O. Box 988
Sacramento CA 95812-0988
Public hours of operation:
9:00am - 3:30pm
Monday - Friday
A permit is required in Sacramento County to connect or operate
an alarm system.
The Sheriff's Dept responds to approx 32,000 alarm calls per year and
98% of these calls are false. The Alarm Bureau enforces the Sacramento
County Emergency Alarm Ordinance.
When should I call 911?
When there is an emergency that is occurring at the time of the call. It is not meant to be used to contact the Sheriff's department about routine matters.
Why do I have to get an alarm permit?
Sacramento County Alarm Ordinance 9.96.085 requires a valid permit on file. The Alarm Ordinance was established in 1986.
What is a False Alarm?
"False Alarm" means the activation of an alarm system which precipitates a response by police services of Sacramento County when police services are not required. False alarms do not include alarms resulting from violent acts of nature, such as earthquakes, gale force winds, or tornadoes. (SCC 1086 § 2, 1997; SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).
How much is the permit?
The permit fee is $50.00. However, if you are notified by the Alarm Ordinance Bureau that an alarm permit is required and have not complied with the notice, additional fees will accrue:
- After 15 days, a $25.00 surcharge will be added, raising the permit fee to $75.00
- After 45 days, a failure to comply fee of $250.00 will be added, raising the permit fee to $325.00.
How do I get a permit?
An Alarm Permit application must be filled out and returned with the fee to get a permit activated. Mail the signed application with a $50.00 check to:
Sheriff Alarm Bureau
P.O. Box 988
Sacramento CA 95812-0988
Once your application and fee have been processed, an alarm permit will be mailed to you.
Do I have to renew my permit?
Yes. Due to the revision to the Sacramento County Emergency Alarm Ordinance,9/4/07, permits are valid for two years. You will receive a courtesy notice at least 30 days prior to the due date. There is no grace period. If you live in the City of Rancho Cordova, they do not require permits to be renewed. To see a copy of their ordinance, please go here.
Who is required to get a permit?
An alarm permit is required for anyone who operates an alarm system in the county of Sacramento. ALARM SYSTEM means a device or system that emits, transmits, or relays, when tripped, a signal intended to summon, or that could reasonably be expected to summon, police services of the County. Alarm system does not include:
- An alarm installed on a vehicle, unless the vehicle is permanently located at a site; nor
- An alarm which by design only alerts the occupants of a residence or business premises; nor
- Alarm devices installed on a temporary basis by the Sheriff's Department. (SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).
Are alarm permits transferable?
The alarm ordinance states that the alarm permits are not transferable by name or by address. If either one is changed, a new permit is required.
If I cancel my alarm permit, can I receive a refund?
All alarm permit fees are non-refundable.
How do I appeal a False Alarm Invoice?
Any person may appeal the assessment of a false alarm service fee by filing a notice of appeal with the Sheriff within fifteen (15) days of the mailing of the service fee invoice. The service fee invoice shall advise the person to whom the fee is assessed of the right to appeal. The notice of appeal shall state all reasons why the appealing party believes that the fee was improperly assessed and shall be accompanied by any documentary evidence that the appealing party wishes to be considered. The appeal and all documentation shall be reviewed by the Sheriff or the Sheriff's designee. The decision of the Sheriff or the Sheriff's designee shall be final. In the event that it is determined that the false alarm fee was improperly assessed, the fee shall be canceled. (SCC 1086 § 6, 1997; SCC 0747 § 2, 1988; SCC 667 § 1, 1986).
What happens if I miss my renewal due date?
After your renewal due date has passed, a $50 reactivation fee ($45 renewal fee and $5 late fee) will be required.
What if I sell my house and move to a new one? Or I own a business and have either sold it, or moved to a new location?
Alarm permits are non-transferable. The permit is valid for the name and address on the application only. You must notify our office to void the old permit, and apply for a new permit for your new address. The new owner/occupant of your home or business must apply for a permit in their name if they continue to use the alarm system.
How do I know if my house is located in the Sheriff’s Department jurisdiction?
You can look up your address up on at the following link to see what Jurisdiction you fall under. The County of Sacramento Sheriff’s Department handles all of the unincorporated areas of Sacramento as well as the City of Rancho Cordova.
Is there anything else I should know?
Always keep your contact information current with your alarm company so they can notify you of an alarm event. It is required that your alarm company have your permit # and expiration date.
If you need help understanding or working your alarm system, contact your alarm company and request additional training.
Contact the Alarm Bureau when any changes in name or address occur, i.e. you are moving or you have sold your home or business.
If you are having problems with an Alarm Company:
If you are unhappy about the way an Alarm Company has been treating you, or you think you are being scammed, please contact either the Better Business Bureau or the Department of Consumer Affairs.
For additional information about Alarm Company Scams.