The city of Coppell's Code of Ordinance Chapter 6, Article 6-2 provides rules and regulations on how solicitors and peddlers can operate within the city limits.
No person, directly or through an agent, shall solicit in person from house-to-house in the city to sell or attempt to sell goods, merchandise, wares, services, or anything of value or to take or attempt to take orders for the future delivery of goods, merchandise, wares, or any personal property of any nature whatsoever, or take or attempt to take orders for services to be furnished or performed in the future, without first having obtained a written permit, or to solicit funds for charitable purposes without first having registered with the city.
Obtaining a Solicitors Permit
All persons desiring to solicit door-to-door must appear in person at the Coppell Police Department, 130 Town Center Blvd., Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and complete the necessary paperwork. Background checks will be conducted on individuals who will be soliciting goods or services. A non-refundable, $25 permit fee will be due upon submittal of each application. After review of the registration or permit application, the City has ten working days to either issue a certificate of registration or permit, or notify the applicant that the application for registration or permit does not comply with the requirements of the Ordinance.
Obtaining a Handbill Distribution Permit
All persons desiring to distribute handbills door-to-door must appear in person at the Coppell Police Department, 130 Town Center Blvd., Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and complete the necessary paperwork. Background checks will be conducted on individuals who will be distributing handbills. There is no charge associated with the handbill distribution application. After review of the registration or permit application, the City has ten working days to either issue a certificate of registration or permit, or notify the applicant that the application for registration or permit does not comply with the requirements of the Ordinance.
Solicitations for Charitable Purposes
All persons desiring to solicit funds for charitable purposes or sale of merchandise to raise funds for charitable purposes shall file a registration statement with the chief of police. This includes the solicitation of funds or sale of merchandise, goods, or wares for charitable purposes. While registration is required, permits will not be needed or issued.
Solicitations for Non-Charitable Purposes
Individuals, businesses or groups soliciting funds or goods for profit must also fill out a registration form with the chief of police. After review of the registration or permit application, and if the registrant meets the criteria as outlined by the Ordinance, City staff will issue a certificate of registration or permit which contains an expiration date listing the final date a for-profit solicitor may go door-to-door for that request. This information MUST be physically displayed on the upper front portion of the solicitor.
Soliciting in Rights-of-Ways
No charitable solicitation may be conducted upon or within the right-of-way of I.H. 635, S.H. 121, MacArthur Blvd., Belt Line Rd., Southwestern Blvd., Denton Tap Rd., Sandy Lake Rd., or the intersections of any of the above named streets, or any other highway, a state highway, or farm-to-market road.
Soliciting on Private Property
Handbill distributors are required to remain on the sidewalks and public right of ways at all times. A solicitor must use the public sidewalk and paved approach to the front entrance of the dwelling/establishment and shall not cut across private property.
Acceptable Solicitation Times
All persons canvassing or soliciting door-to-door, for charitable and non-charitable reasons may not do so before 9 a.m. or after 30 minutes following sunset, Monday through Saturday, or at any time on a Sunday or on an official holiday.
"No Soliciting" Signs
Any person, desiring that no merchant solicit on their property may post a sign in a conspicuous location on or near his main entrance, a weather-proof card not less than three by four inches in size containing the words "NO SOLICITORS." No soliciting includes any person engaged in a, charitable or non-charitable, solicitation, placement of handbills or other advertisement, and those who are canvassing.
It shall be unlawful for any person to peddle, solicit, sell, offer for sale, or exhibit for sale any merchandise upon any public sidewalk, street, street right-of-way, parkway, or other public right-of-way. This does not include mobile vending. Mobile vending is addressed in the Ordinance. Mobile vendors are advised to review this portion of the code.
The amendment also defines canvassing as someone who examines or discusses in detail; to make subject of discussion or debate; goes through places or among people asking, requesting or engaging for vote/opinions concerning religious, political or other topics of public concern. Canvassers must adhere to the hours that soliciting is allowed, as well as the locations where they can solicit with regards to no soliciting signs.
Handbills on Public Property
The Ordinance says, "It shall be unlawful for any person to paste, stick, or place any advertisement, handbill, placard, printed, pictures or written matter or any device for advertising purposes upon any fence, railing, sidewalk, telephone, electric light or public utility pole, or other public property . . ."