Banner Image

AB-481 Information

California Assembly Bill 481 requires law enforcement agencies to obtain approval of the applicable governing body (Mayor and City Council), by adoption of a military equipment use policy prior to taking certain actions relating to the funding, acquisition, or use of military equipment as defined by the legislature. Read More...

San Rafael Police Department

San Rafael Police Department



In order to reduce the number of false alarms and increase time for police officers to respond to actual emergencies and other legitimate calls for service, the City of San Rafael has revised the current alarm ordinance, Ordinance No. 1973, Municipal Code Chapter 8.20 “INTRUSION DETECTION AND/OR BURGLAR ALARM AND FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS”.

Studies have consistently shown that 98 percent of the alarms to which police respond are false. The major cause of false alarms is user error—usually either opening or closing errors—and improper maintenance. Each alarm response requires a minimum of two patrol officers and averages 15 minutes per officer, per alarm. This equates to thousands of hours of San Rafael PD time diverted away from actual police work.

Effective January 1, 2020: Every residence or business operating an alarm system in San Rafael must obtain a permit. Permits are valid for one (1) year from issue date.


Residential and Commercial:
New Permit: $20.00
Renewal Permit: $20.00
Failure to Register: $100.00

Note: Existing permit holders will be billed $20 once the current permit expires.

False Alarms:

The alarm ordinance encourages accountability and responsibility of alarm users by charging alarm owners for false alarms. Note: Effective January 1, 2020, all counts will be reset to zero (0) for all existing accounts.

False Alarm OccurrenceFines

False alarms are accumulated within a 12 month permit year based on the start and expiration date.