Security Alarm Permits
If you have any questions or need additional information, call the Alarm Unit between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday
Alarm systems can require Permit & Fee with proper local authority. Alarm Permits are required by city and county police departments. All home and business locations are claimed city or deemed county. Just because you live in Austin does not mean that Austin police department responds. Every address has three responding authorities to consider; Police, Fire and Medical.
Cedar Park and Round Rock police departments do not require alarm permits. In the event you are unsure make contact with Avenger Security or with your local police department to verify for each emergency service. All locations have only one responding authority. You must pay the alarm permit only if responding authority requires.
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After purchase of security burglar alarm monitoring service, please make notice to local municipality for proper registration if such registration is required by municipality. If responding authority requires permit for security monitoring service, notice will be given.
The information you obtain at this website is not, nor is it intended to be, advice. You should always consult with Central Security on site for advice regarding your individual situation. Central Security invites you to make contact and welcomes your call, letters and electronic mail. Contacting Central Security does not create a relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time relationship has been established.
Austin Alarm Permit. The City of Austin has adopted laws regulating the operation of alarm systems. Many cities around Austin also inforce same or similar provisions within their city. The City of Austin requires an alarm permit for each residence or business that operates an alarm system in the City Limits of the City of Austin. The Austin Police Department enforces and administers the THE CODE OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN, TEXAS.
Austin Alarm Permit
TITLE 4. BUSINESS REGULATION AND PERMIT REQUIREMENTS
CHAPTER 4-2. ALARM SYSTEMS.
ARTICLE 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS.
§ 4-2-1 Definitions
§ 4-2-2 Policies and Procedures
§ 4-2-3 Police Response
§ 4-2-4 Sovereign Immunity
ARTICLE 2. PERMITS AND APPLICATIONS.
§ 4-2-11 Permit Required
§ 4-2-12 Permits for a System in an Apartment Complex
§ 4-2-13 Permit Application and Renewal
§ 4-2-14 Permit Term
§ 4-2-15 Fees
§ 4-2-16 Grounds for Permit Denial
§ 4-2-17 Permit Revocation
§ 4-2-18 Reinstatement of Permit
§ 4-2-19 Appeal from Denial or Revocation
§ 4-2-20 Operation and Maintenance of an Alarm System
§ 4-2-21 False Alarm Notification
ARTICLE 3. OFFENSES AND PENALTIES.
§ 4-2-31 Offenses
§ 4-2-32 4-2-32 Penalties
ARTICLE 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS.
§ 4-2-1 DEFINITIONS.
In this chapter:
(1) ALARM NOTIFICATION means a notification, excluding a recorded message prohibited by Section 9-4-53 (Recorded Telephone Message to Police or Fire Department Prohibited) of the Code, intended to summon the police, designed to be initiated:
(a) intentionally by a person; or
(b) by an alarm system that responds to a stimulus characteristic of unauthorized intrusion.
(2) ALARM SITE means the property served by an alarm system and under the control of a single owner, tenant, or lessor.
(3) ALARM SYSTEM means electrical, mechanical, or electronic equipment that emits, transmits, or relays a signal intended to summon the police by direct or indirect means, except:
(a) an alarm system installed on a motor vehicle, unless the vehicle is permanently located at an alarm site;
(b) an alarm system designed to alert only the residents of a premise not equipped with a local alarm;
(c) an alarm system installed on a premise:
(i) occupied by the United States Government; or
(ii) owned and occupied by state government;
(d) an alarm system designed solely to detect or give notice of fire or smoke; or
(e) a communication device not designed solely to produce an alarm notification.
(4) ALARM SYSTEM BUSINESS means a person who sells, installs, services, monitors, or responds to alarm systems or notifications.
(5) BURGLAR ALARM means a device or system that transmits a signal intended to summon police in response to a burglary.
(6) FALSE ALARM NOTIFICATION means an alarm notification to the Police Department resulting in a finding by the responding officer or a subsequent investigation, that there is no evidence of actual or attempted unauthorized intrusion, robbery, attempted robbery, or other illegal activity.
(7) LOCAL ALARM means an alarm system that emits a signal at an alarm site that is audible or visible from the exterior of a structure.
(8) MASTER ALARM PERMIT means a permit issued to the owner or property manager of a residential apartment complex in which an alarm system operates in one or more individual residential units.
(9) PERSONAL EMERGENCY RESPONSE SYSTEM (PANIC BUTTON) ALARM means an alarm system that is installed at the residence of a person, monitored by an alarm systems company, and designed only to permit the person to signal the occurrence of a medical or personal emergency so that the company may dispatch appropriate aid; it is not part of a burglar alarm system or fire alarm system.
Source: 1992 Code Section 8-6-1; Ord. 031023-12; Ord. 031211-11; Ord. 20070111-012.
§ 4-2-2 POLICIES AND PROCEDURES.
The police chief shall:
(1) adopt policies and procedures to implement this chapter;
(2) publish standards of operation for an alarm system; and
(3) provide a copy of the standards to each permit holder.
Source: 1992 Code Section 8-6-5; Ord. 031023-12; Ord. 031211-11.
§ 4-2-3 POLICE RESPONSE.
The Police Department shall respond to the activation of a permitted alarm system as prescribed by the policies and procedures adopted by the police chief, including the response priorities established by the police chief.
Source: 1992 Code Section 8-6-6(A); Ord. 031023-12; Ord. 031211-11.
§ 4-2-4 SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY.
(A) A permit issued under this chapter does not create:
(1) a contract, either express or implied; or
(2) a duty or guarantee of response by the Police Department.
(B) The City retains immunity from liability and suit based on a decision by the Police Department not to respond to an activation of a permitted alarm system.
Source: 1992 Code Section 8-6-6(B); Ord. 031023-12; Ord. 031211-11.
ARTICLE 2. PERMITS AND APPLICATIONS.
§ 4-2-11 PERMIT REQUIRED.
(A) A person shall obtain a permit issued by the police chief before the person operates an alarm system.
(B) A person must obtain a separate permit for each alarm site.
(C) A permit holder shall:
(1) keep the alarm permit at the alarm site; and
(2) produce the permit for inspection at the request of an employee of the Police Department.
Source: 1992 Code Sections 8-6-20(A) through (C); Ord. 031023-12; Ord. 031211-11.
§ 4-2-12 PERMITS FOR A SYSTEM IN AN APARTMENT COMPLEX.
(A) The owner or property manager of an apartment complex shall obtain a master alarm permit if an alarm system is operated in:
(1) a residential unit on the premises, whether the alarm system is furnished by the owner or property manager or contracted for by an individual tenant; or
(2) a non-residential area of the apartment complex, including a common tenant area, office, storage, or equipment area.
(B) A tenant of an apartment complex shall obtain an individual alarm permit before the tenant operates or causes the operation of an alarm system in the tenant’s residential unit.
Source: 1992 Code Sections 8-6-21(A) and (B); Ord. 031023-12; Ord. 031211-11.
§ 4-2-13 PERMIT APPLICATION AND RENEWAL.
(A) A person who owns, leases, occupies, or manages an alarm site shall file an application for a permit and the application fee under this chapter with the Police Department on a form approved by the police chief.
(B) A permittee shall file an application to renew a permit not later than 30-days before its expiration.
Source: 1992 Code Section 8-6-22(A) and 8-6-24; Ord. 031023-12; Ord. 031211-11.
§ 4-2-14 PERMIT TERM.
(A) A permit issued under this chapter is effective for 12 months from the date of issuance.
(B) The police chief shall issue a permit effective on the earlier of:
(1) the date the application is processed; or
(2) if the Police Department has responded to a false alarm notification at the alarm site subject to the application, the date of the first false alarm notification.
(C) A permit issued under this chapter is non-transferable and non-refundable.
Source: 1992 Code Sections 8-6-22(C), (D), and (E); Ord. 031023-12; Ord. 031211-11.
§ 4-2-15 FEES.
(A) A permittee, including the holder of a master alarm permit, shall pay to the Police Department:
(1) the permit fee;
(2) a late payment fee, if the person fails to pay the permit fee by its due date; and
(3) other fees related to a permit, including a false alarm service fee assessed under Section 4-2-21 (False Alarm Notification).
(B) The fees assessed under this section are established by separate ordinance.
Source: 1992 Code Sections 8-6-1 and 8-6-4; Ord. 031023-12; Ord. 031211-11.
§ 4-2-16 GROUNDS FOR PERMIT DENIAL.
The police chief may deny an application for a permit if the applicant has:
(1) made a false statement on the application;
(2) made a false oral statement in connection with the application;
(3) failed to pay a fee assessed under this chapter; or
(4) had an alarm permit for an alarm site revoked and the violation resulting in the revocation remains uncorrected.
Source: 1992 Code Section 8-6-23; Ord. 031023-12; Ord. 031211-11.
§ 4-2-17 PERMIT REVOCATION.
The police chief shall revoke an alarm permit if the police chief determines that:
(1) an applicant has made:
(a) a false statement made on a permit application; or
(b) a false oral statement relating to a permit application; or
(2) a permittee has:
(a) violated this chapter;
(b) failed to pay a fee assessed under this chapter; or
(c) failed to maintain the alarm system to minimize false alarm notifications and ensure proper operation of the alarm system.
Source: 1992 Code Section 8-6-25; Ord. 031023-12; Ord. 031211-11.
§ 4-2-18 REINSTATEMENT OF PERMIT.
The police chief may reinstate a permit revoked under Section 4-2-17 (Permit Revocation) if the police chief determines that the applicant:
(1) has paid the fees required under Section 4-2-15 (Fees); and
(2) operates the alarm system in accordance with this chapter.
Source: 1992 Code Section 8-6-27; Ord. 031023-12; Ord. 031211-11.
§ 4-2-19 APPEAL FROM DENIAL OR REVOCATION.
(A) If the police chief denies an application or revokes a permit, the chief shall notify the applicant or permittee by certified mail, return receipt requested.
(B) Not later than the 10th day after the affected person receives notice of an adverse action by the police chief, the person may file a notice of appeal with the police chief, including the reason for the appeal. Failure to file a timely appeal under this subsection results in the police chief’s action becoming final.
(C) If an applicant or permittee files a timely appeal under this section, the police chief’s action is stayed.
(D) The city manager shall appoint a hearing officer to hear the appeal. The formal rules of evidence do not apply at a hearing under this section. The hearing officer:
(1) shall make a decision based on the basis of a preponderance of the evidence presented;
(2) shall render a decision not later than the 60th day after an appeal is filed; and
(3) may affirm, reverse, or modify the action of the police chief.
(E) The decision of the hearing officer is final.
Source: 1992 Code Section 8-6-26; Ord. 031023-12; Ord. 031211-11.
§ 4-2-20 OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF AN ALARM SYSTEM.
(A) A permittee:
(1) shall maintain a premise containing an alarm system to ensure the proper operation of the alarm system;
(2) shall maintain the alarm system to minimize false alarm notifications;
(3) within one hour of notification by the city that an alarm system requires repair or inactivation, shall:
(a) respond or cause an alarm system business representative to respond to repair or inactivate the malfunctioning alarm system;
(b) provide access to the premise; or
(c) provide security for the premise; and
(4) may not manually activate an alarm system except to report the occurrence of an event that the alarm system was designed to report.
(B) A permittee with a local alarm shall adjust the mechanism to prevent an alarm signal from sounding for longer than 15 minutes after activation.
(C) A permittee shall notify the Police Department if the permittee relinquishes control of the alarm site and cancels the permit. If a permittee fails to notify the Police Department under this section, the permittee shall pay fees associated with the permit, if any.
Source: 1992 Code Sections 8-6-2 and 8-6-20(D); Ord. 031023-12; Ord. 031211-11.
§ 4-2-21 FALSE ALARM NOTIFICATION.
(A) If an alarm system transmits more than three false burglar alarm notifications within a 12-month period, the permittee shall pay a service fee for the fourth and each subsequent false burglar alarm notification.
(1) The service fee for more than three but fewer than six false burglar alarms within the preceding 12-month period is $50.
(2) The service fee for more than five but fewer than eight false burglar alarms within the preceding 12-month period is $75.
(3) The service fee for eight or more false burglar alarms within the preceding 12-month period is $100.
(B) If an alarm system transmits more than two false personal emergency response system (panic button) alarm notifications within a 12-month period, the permittee shall pay a service fee of $100 for the third and each subsequent false personal emergency response system (panic button) alarm notification.
(C) A tenant holding an individual alarm permit shall pay a false alarm notification fee related to a transmission from the alarm system in the tenant’s unit.
(D) The permittee holding the master alarm permit holder shall pay a false alarm notification fee related to a transmission from an unoccupied unit or a unit for which a tenant has not obtained an individual alarm permit.
(E) The police chief may investigate and waive payment of a service fee assessed under this section.
Source: 1992 Code Sections 8-6-7 and 8-6-21(C); Ord. 031023-12; Ord. 031211-11; Ord. 20070111-012.
ARTICLE 3. OFFENSES AND PENALTIES.
§ 4-2-31 OFFENSES.
A person commits an offense if the person operates, cause to be operated, or allows the operation of an alarm system:
(1) without a permit issued under this chapter;
(2) in violation of this chapter; or
(3) that automatically dials the 911 Emergency Communications System.
Source: 1992 Code Section 8-6-3; Ord. 031023-12; Ord. 031211-11.
§ 4-2-32 PENALTIES.
(A) A person who fails to comply with this chapter commits a class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than:
(1) $75 for the first conviction; or
(2) $100 for the second and any subsequent convictions.
(B) Each day or portion of a day during which a violation occurs or continues constitutes a separate offense.
(C) In addition to a criminal penalty under this chapter, a person who operates, causes to be operated, or allows to be operated an alarm system without a valid permit shall be charged a fee for each Police Department response to the activation of an un-permitted alarm system.
(D) In this chapter, a guilty plea, deferred disposition, deferred adjudication, or probation by a court of competent jurisdiction constitutes a conviction.
(E) A person who makes a false statement on an application commits a violation of Section 37.10 (Tampering with Governmental Record) of the Texas Penal Code.
Source: 1992 Code Sections 8-6-22(B) and 8-6-99; Ord. 031023-12; Ord. 031211-11.
This Code of Ordinances and/or any other documents that appear on this site may not reflect the most current legislation adopted by the Municipality. American Legal Publishing Corporation provides these documents for informational purposes only. These documents should not be relied upon as the definitive authority for local legislation. Additionally, the formatting and pagination of the posted documents varies from the formatting and pagination of the official copy. The official printed copy of a Code of Ordinances should be consulted prior to any action being taken.
For further information regarding the official version of any of this Code of Ordinances or other documents posted on this site, please contact the Municipality directly or contact American Legal Publishing
City of Austin Alarm Permit Fees
Type of Permit Amount Term
Residential (New or Renewal) $30 12 Months
Business (New or Renewal) $50 12 Months
City of Austin False Alarm Fees
Type of Call Number allowed 3 burglary dispatch at no charge in consecutive 12 month period. Fees for over 3 Burglary dispatch, 4-5 $50 Each 6-7 $75 Each 8 or more $100 Each
Late Payment Fee $5 Per Month
City of Austin Penalties for Operating an Alarm System Without a Permit
$200 for each response to a non-permitted location.
Operator is subject to Class C misdemeanor charges.
Complete the Alarm Permit Application and mail it to the address below. If you have any questions or need more information, call the Alarm Unit at 974-5730.
Alarm Permit Application (PDF)
After downloading and printing the application, complete the application and return it with your payment to: (Make check or money order payable to: APD Alarm Unit
- Austin Police Department
- Alarm Unit
- P.O. Box 684279
- Austin, Texas 78768-4279
Transition Plan for Citizens in Newly Annexed Areas
Annexed citizens will be responsible for complying with all aspects of the City of Austin ALARM SYSTEMS Ordinance. New citizens annexed into the city who operate an alarm system in their business or residence and have current permits from Travis or Williamson counties will be honored by the City of Austin as follows: If the permit has an unexpired term, the permit holder may submit the current valid permit from Travis or Williamson counties along with a City of Austin alarm permit application. APD will issue a City of Austin permit for the remainder of the calendar year. There will be no City of Austin Alarm Permit Fee ($30 for residential or $50 for business) assessed during the unexpired term. Annexed citizens that operate an alarm system, but do not have a Travis or Williamson county permit should complete an application and submit the appropriate fee. All criminal and civil penalties will apply until such time as a valid City of Austin alarm permit is issued.
Cancellation of City of Austin Alarm Permit
An alarm permit can be cancelled when the system no longer meets the criteria for a permitted alarm system per the ordinance or the permit holder moves from the address. All outstanding charges must be paid before a permit is cancelled. Written notification is required for cancellation. Cancellation form can be mailed to the address referenced above or faxed to:(512)974-6697.