Darien soliciting ban remains in effect due to COVID concerns

Darien has put soliciting permits on hold during the pandemic.

Darien has put soliciting permits on hold during the pandemic.

Contributed graphic

DARIEN — While the town has banned solicitors due to COVID, police said representatives from nonprofit organizations are still allowed to go door-to-door during the pandemic.

Darien Police Chief Donald Anderson said the town stopped issuing permits to solicitors last year due to COVID-19 concerns.

“It has simply not been reasonable to me to allow or promote door-to-door solicitation during a global pandemic,” Anderson said.

However, he said even without permits being issued there could still be some nonprofit groups going door-to-door. These nonprofits could include religious, environmental and political action groups.

“They don’t fall directly under the definition of a ‘solicitor’ in some aspects of the term/ordinance as they are not selling anything,” Anderson said.

In these cases, Anderson said these groups should register with the police department so there is a record of who is going door-to-door in town.

“As always, we take a reasonable enforcement approach to this type of activity. People should not be soliciting after dark. It’s just not reasonable,” Anderson said.

He said solicitors are prohibited from private neighborhoods and associations as well as areas posted that ban the activity.

When the town again begins accepting soliciting applications, the applicant must submit a sales and use tax permit or a tax exemption permit, an insurance certificate covering any injuries on town or residential property that may occur, and a copy of vehicle registration. Applicants must also be fingerprinted prior to approval.

There is a $10 application fee, and permits can be applied for by the day, week, month or year.

Solicitors are required to wear a photo ID issued by the police department. They must only go to the front door, and can only conduct business between 9 a.m. and sunset. If requested, the solicitor must leave the property at the owner’s request.

Solicitors who violate these guidelines or do not obtain proper permits could be arrested or have their permit revoked.

For more information or questions, residents can call the Darien Police’s non-emergency number at 203-662-5300.