Cathedral City, CA 92235

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why am I fined for false alarms?

Fines allow the City to recover a portion of the costs associated with responding to false alarms. 

Q. When is an alarm considered a "false alarm"?

A false alarm is any alarm signal which causes police department response when an emergency situation does not exist.  Excessive false alarms are defined as more than one false alarm within any 365 day period at a permitted site, and any false alarm at a non-permitted site.

Q. Do I need an alarm permit?

If you have a monitored alarm system, you are required by the City of Cathedral City to have an alarm permit. If you have multiple monitored alarm systems, a permit is required for each alarm.

Q. I bought a home with an alarm system already installed. Am I required to have an alarm permit for my new home?

Yes. If you are a new owner of an alarm system, you are required to obtain a new permit in your name.

Q. I bought a new commercial building with an alarm system. Am I required to have an alarm permit for my new building?

Yes. Anytime there is a change in ownership of the alarm system, a new alarm permit is required.

Q. How often do I need to renew my alarm permit?

Alarm permits are required to be renewed annually.

Q. How much does an alarm system permit cost?

The cost of an alarm permit is $35.

Q. How much is the cost to renew my alarm permit?

The annual renewal fee of an alarm permit is $30.

Q. When are false alarm fines charged?

Permit holders are given one false alarm response within a 365 day period at no charge. A fine is charged for all false alarms thereafter.

Q. What are the fines for false alarms?
Police Alarms1st False Alarm
in 365 day period
2nd False Alarm 
in 365 day period
3rd False Alarm 
in 365 day period
4th or more False Alarms 
in 365 day period
No charge$100.00$150.00$200.00 each
$100.00$200.00$200.00$200.00 each
Q. Is there a City ordinance for false alarms?

Yes. Ordinance 8.28.05 requires residences and business owners with alarm systems to obtain and maintain an annual permit and reimburse the City for excessive false security alarms.

Q. What is a diversion program?

The City of Cathedral City provides an online alarm diversion program to educate alarm users on the causes and consequences of false alarms and how to prevent them.  This course is entirely online and can be completed from any computer in about 30 minutes.  It can be taken whether or not you have caused a false alarm, and the cost is $25.00. The City also allows permit users who have caused two false alarms within a 365 day period to take the course in lieu of paying the $100.00 fine.

Q. How can I appeal a false alarm charge/occurrence?


*Submit a written request/statement as to why you feel the charge and/or occurrence should be waived or removed from your account, along with any supporting documentation (police reports, alarm company documentation, etc)

*Submit via email using the Contact Us page.

*Be sure to include Permit License #, alarm location address, and incident date(s) in question.

*Submit within fifteen (15) calendar days of the notice imposing the charge. 

Q. How do I cancel my alarm permit?

If there is no longer active alarm service in your name at this location please notify us in writing by sending an email to with the date of cancellation and the alarm company of record.