Are you often annoyed by an unwanted knock on your door by someone trying to sell you a product or service?  Do they ring your doorbell at inconvenient times? There is something you can do about it.

Nearly every city, town and village in Westchester has an ordinance regulating the activities of these hawkers, solicitors and peddlers.

The laws vary by jurisdiction, but most require that these solicitors obtain a license from the Municipal Clerk or Police Department and carry a government-issued identification card. Some of the laws actually regulate the hours when door-to-door solicitation can be conducted.

Many city, town and village codes and laws are published on-line. You can look for your local law at the link below. Just go to the New York State area and click on the link to your local government’s code. (Hint: a good search term is “solicit”.)

Or you can contact your Municipal Clerk or Police Department to find out what rules apply in your jurisdiction.

What to do if an unwelcome solicitor knocks on your door:

  • First, politely tell the solicitor to leave and let them know that you do not want uninvited solicitors to visit your home.

  • Then, immediately call your Police Department or Municipal Clerk and register a complaint. If the solicitor is not registered with your locality, or is not carrying a government-issued identification card, the solicitor can be cited for violating the local peddler/solicitor law. This will most likely save both you and your neighbors from further annoyances.

  • Finally, a word of note……  Many of these local ordinances were enacted some time ago. In the meantime, several courts, including the United States Supreme Court, have ruled that peddler/solicitor laws  cannot be lawfully applied to religious, political and charitable solicitation. However, that does not mean that you must entertain visits from religious, political and charitable solicitors. You are still entitled to tell them that they are not welcome at your home and send them on their way.