Code Section Group

Business and Professions Code - BPC


  ( Heading of Division 3 added by Stats. 1939, Ch. 30. )

CHAPTER 11.6. Alarm Companies [7590 - 7599.80]

  ( Chapter 11.6 added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1210, Sec. 12. )

ARTICLE 1. General Provisions [7590 - 7590.6]
  ( Article 1 added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1210, Sec. 12. )


This chapter constitutes the chapter on alarm company operators and alarm agents. It may be cited as the Alarm Company Act.

(Added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1210, Sec. 12.)


The following terms as used in this chapter have the meaning expressed in this article:

(a) (1) “Advertisement” means:

(A) Any written or printed communication for the purpose of soliciting, describing, or promoting the licensed business of the licensee, including a brochure, letter, pamphlet, newspaper, periodical, publication, or other writing.

(B) A directory listing caused or permitted by the licensee which indicates their licensed activity.

(C) A radio, television, or similar airwave transmission that solicits or promotes the licensed business of the licensee.

(2) “Advertisement” does not include any of the following:

(A) Any printing or writing used on buildings, vehicles, uniforms, badges, or other property where the purpose of the printing or writing is identification.

(B) Any printing or writing on communications, memoranda, or any other writings used in the ordinary course of business where the sole purpose of the writing is other than the solicitation or promotion of business.

(C) Any printing or writing on novelty objects used in the promotion of the licensee’s business where the printing of the information required by this chapter would be impractical due to the available area or surface.

(b) “Alarm agent” means a person employed by an alarm company operator whose duties, being physically conducted within the state, include selling on premises, altering, installing, maintaining, moving, repairing, replacing, servicing, responding, or monitoring an alarm system, and those ancillary devices connected to and controlled by the alarm system, including supplementary smoke detectors, or a person who manages or supervises a person employed by an alarm company to perform any of the duties described in this subdivision or any person in training for any of the duties described in this subdivision.

(c) (1) “Alarm system” means an assembly of equipment and devices arranged to detect a hazard or signal the presence of an off-normal situation.

(2) “Alarm system” does not include a fire protection system, as defined in the California Fire Code.

(d) “Branch office” means any location, other than the principal place of business of the licensee, which is licensed as set forth in Article 11 (commencing with Section 7599.20).

(e) “Branch office manager” means an individual designated by the qualified manager to manage the licensee’s branch office and who has met the requirements as set forth in Article 11 (commencing with Section 7599.20).

(f) “Bureau” means the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services.

(g) “Chief” means the Chief of the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services.

(h) “Deadly weapon” means and includes any instrument or weapon of the kind commonly known as a blackjack, slungshot, billy, sandclub, sandbag, or metal knuckles; any dirk, dagger, pistol, revolver, or any other firearm; any knife having a blade longer than five inches; any razor with an unguarded blade; or any metal pipe or bar used or intended to be used as a club.

(i) “Department” means the Department of Consumer Affairs.

(j) “Director” means the Director of Consumer Affairs.

(k) “Employee” means an individual who works for an employer, is listed on the employer’s payroll records, and is under the employer’s direction and control.

(l) “Employer” means a person who employs an individual for wages or salary, lists the individual on the employer’s payroll records, and withholds all legally required deductions and contributions.

(m) “Employer-employee relationship” means an individual who works for another and where the individual’s name appears on the payroll records of the employer.

(n) “Firearm permit” means and includes “firearms permit,” “firearms qualification card,” “firearms qualification,” and “firearms qualification permit.”

(o) “Firearms permit” means a permit issued by the bureau, pursuant to Article 6 (commencing with Section 7596), to a licensee, a qualified manager, or an alarm agent, to carry an exposed firearm while on duty.

(p) “Licensee” means a business entity, whether an individual, partnership, limited liability company, or corporation licensed under this chapter.

(q) “Manager” means an individual designated under an operating agreement of a manager-managed limited liability company who is responsible for performing the management functions for the limited liability company specified in subdivision (c) of Section 17704.07 of the Corporations Code.

(r) “Member” means an individual who is a member of a limited liability company as defined in subdivision (p) of Section 17701.02 of the Corporations Code.

(s)  “Person” means any individual, firm, company, association, organization, partnership, limited liability company, or corporation.

(t)  “Qualified manager” means an individual who is in active control, management, and direction of the licensee’s business, and who is in possession of a current and valid qualified manager’s certificate pursuant to this chapter.

(u)  “Registrant” means any person registered or who has applied for registration under this chapter.

(v)  “Residential sales agreement” means and includes an agreement between an alarm company operator and an owner or tenant for the purchase of an alarm system to be utilized in the personal residence of the owner or tenant.

(Amended by Stats. 2021, Ch. 376, Sec. 19. (AB 830) Effective January 1, 2022.)


(a) An “alarm company operator” means a person who, for any consideration whatsoever, engages in business or accepts employment to install, maintain, alter, sell on premises, monitor, or service alarm systems, and those ancillary devices connected to and controlled by the alarm system, including supplementary smoke detectors, or who responds to alarm systems except for any alarm agent. “Alarm company operator,” includes any entity that is retained by a licensed alarm company operator, a customer, or any other person or entity, to monitor one or more alarm systems, whether or not the entity performs any other duties within the definition of an alarm company operator. The provisions of this chapter, to the extent that they can be made applicable, shall be applicable to the duties and functions performed in monitoring alarm systems.

(b) A person licensed as an alarm company operator shall not conduct any investigation or investigations except those that are incidental to personal injury, or the theft, loss, embezzlement, misappropriation, or concealment of any property, or any other thing enumerated in this section, which they have been hired or engaged to protect.

(c) A person who is licensed, certified, or registered pursuant to this chapter is exempt from locksmithing requirements, pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 6980.12, if the duties performed that constitute locksmithing are performed in combination with the installation, maintenance, moving, repairing, replacing, servicing, or reconfiguration of an alarm system, as defined in Section 7590.1, and limited to work on electronic locks or access control devices that are controlled by an alarm system control device, including the removal of existing hardware.

(Amended by Stats. 2021, Ch. 376, Sec. 20. (AB 830) Effective January 1, 2022.)


This chapter does not apply to:

(a) A person employed exclusively and regularly by any employer who does not provide contract alarm services for other entities or persons, in connection with the affairs of that employer only and where there exists an employer-employee relationship. A person so employed shall at no time carry or use any deadly weapon in the performance of his or her duties.

(b) An officer or employee of the United States of America, or of this state or a political subdivision thereof, while the officer or employee is engaged in the performance of his or her official duties, including uniformed peace officers employed part time by a public agency pursuant to a written agreement between a chief of police or sheriff and the public agency.

(c) Patrol special police officers appointed by the police commission of any city, county, or city and county under the express terms of its charter.

(d) A licensed private patrol operator or any employee of a licensed private patrol operator who is employed as a security guard, security officer, or street patrol person as defined in Section 7582.1 and who is employed to respond to alarm systems.

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 376, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1999.)


Notwithstanding any other requirements for licensure as an alarm company operator or for registration as an alarm agent pursuant to this chapter, an applicant for an alarm company operator license or an alarm agent registration shall be at least 18 years of age.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 377, Sec. 36. (SB 609) Effective January 1, 2020.)


(a) Notwithstanding any law, any application for a license, registration, certification, or permit required by this chapter shall be submitted electronically through the online licensing and enforcement platform, including, but not limited to, applications for an original, renewal, reinstatement, or replacement license, registration, certificate, or permit.

(b) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2022.

(Added by Stats. 2021, Ch. 376, Sec. 21. (AB 830) Effective January 1, 2022. Operative July 1, 2022, by its own provisions.)

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