Frequently Asked Questions

Description

Search our frequently asked questions for helpful information on common topics. 

Topics

Questions

Please visit our how to guide located in our help center, or use our Live Chat service to get further assistance.

Topic
Received a Letter

Questions

Why did I receive this notice?
In order to operate as an Automotive Repair Facility in the City of Houston, you must be licensed in accordance with Chapter 8 of the City of Houston Code of Ordinances. To view this ordinance, please visit http://www.municode.com/Library/TX/Houston.

How can I pay?
Please complete the information in your application packet and bring it to:

Houston Permitting Center
Center Auto Dealers Detail, Basement Level
1002 Washington
Houston, TX 77002

Is this something that I HAVE to pay?
Yes.  You received this notice because you operate as an Automotive Repair Facility and your business resides within the limits of the City of Houston.

What Ordinance does this pertain to?
Chapter 8 of the City of Houston Code of Ordinances. http://www.municode.com/Library/TX/Houston.

What is my fee?
Presently, the fee for a new license is $490.

When is my fee due?
These applications must be returned with payment within 30 days of the mailing date on this letter.  

What other documents do I need before I can get this license?

  1. A Certificate of Occupancy. If you do not have one, the City of Houston Occupancy office is located at the Houston Permitting Center, 1002 Washington, 1st Floor, Houston, TX 77002 (832-394-8880). Auto Dealers will accept a receipt or the final certificate.
  2. Present a legal description of your corporation (if applicable) or DBA or Assumed Name certificate – The DBA office is at 201 Caroline, Suite 460, Houston, TX 77002.
  3. A City of Houston application – This form must be signed and notarized. If you do not have a notary, please do not sign the application until you report to the Auto Dealers Detail office.
  4. A Deed Restriction and Law Compliance Affidavit – This form must also be signed and notarized. If you do not have a notary, please do not sign the affidavit until you report to the Auto Dealers Detail office.

All of the necessary paperwork listed should be brought to the Houston Permitting Center, 1002 Washington, Auto Dealers Detail, Basement level, Houston, TX 77002 832-394-4800.

My store is not an Automotive Repair Facility.
Please contact our Office at 832-394-4800 Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Please be aware that any claim of exemption will be subject to verification by inspection.

I have already paid for this license.
Please contact our Office at 832-394-4800 Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Please have proof of your payment (license #) on-hand for reference.

Does my facility need to be inspected?
To obtain a new license, you do not need an inspection; however, your facility is subject to random inspections.

Further information is available online at: http://www.houstontx.gov/police/auto_dealers_detail/

Why did I receive this notice?
Each fire alarm in operation in the City of Houston is mandated by city ordinance to have a permit. It is unlawful for any person to operate, cause to be operated, or allow the operation of an alarm system unless a valid permit issued in accordance with this division is in effect for that system.

If your alarm system can summon the Houston Fire Department automatically, through your alarm system company or through the “fire” panic button, you are required to have a fire alarm permit.

I do not know if my alarm system can summon the Houston Fire Department automatically.
Please contact your alarm service provider with questions about your alarm system’s active capabilities.

How can I pay?
To pay by mail, please complete the information on your invoice and return it to:

City of Houston
P. O. Box 3625
Houston, TX 77253
Make all checks payable to the City of Houston

**We do NOT accept credit card payments through the mail.

If you wish to pay in person, you can pay by check, money order or credit card (MC/V/D/AE) at the Houston Permitting Center at 1002 Washington Avenue 2nd floor, Houston, TX 77002. Please bring your completed application and unsworn declaration with you.

Is this something that I HAVE to pay?
Yes. If your business resides within the limits of the City of Houston, and your alarm system can summon the Houston Fire Department, you must purchase a permit.

Which City of Houston Ordinance requires me to get a permit?
Chapter 11 Sec. 11-12(a) indicates that: It is unlawful for any person to operate…an alarm system unless a valid permit issued…is in effect for that system.

What is my fee?

  • The fee for a new fire permit is $111.81 ($83.86 + $27.95 administrative fee).
  • Presently, the fee for a renewal permit is $83.86 ($55.91 + $27.95 administrative fee). Renewals must occur 10 days prior to expiration.
  • If you do not have a fire alarm permit and a false alarm results in a response by the Houston Fire Department, you will be fined $402.55 for each such occurrence.

 

When is my fee due?
Applications must be returned with payment within 30 days of the mailing date on this letter.

My alarm system cannot summon the Houston Fire Department automatically, through my alarm system company or through the "fire" panic button.
Please notify us by checking the box on the original letter and mail, fax, or email it back to the Houston Fire Department’s Permitting Office. Please be aware that any claim of exemption will be subject to verification by inspection.

I have already paid my Fire Alarm Permit Fee.
Please notify us by calling: 832.394.8811. Please have proof of your payment on-hand for reference.
 

If you have any other questions about this notice, please call the Houston Fire Department’s hotline 832-394-8811 or emailing us at [email protected].

Further information is also available online at
http://www.houstontx.gov/fire/formsandpermits/

Additional Contact Information:
Houston Fire Department

P.O. Box 3625
Houston, TX 77253

T: 832.394.8811
F: 832.394.9645
[email protected]

Topic
Burglar Alarms

Questions

All residents and businesses operating, using, causing or allowing the operation or use of a burglar and/or panic alarm system located within the City of Houston are required by the Code of Ordinances, Chapter 11, Article III to obtain a permit for their alarm system.

It is unlawful for any person to operate or use, cause or allow the operation or use of an alarm system unless a valid alarm permit is in effect for that alarm system. If the Houston Emergency Center (HEC) or the Houston Police Department (HPD), receives an alarm notification from an alarm system that does not have a valid permit, a penalty shall be charged for each alarm notification (whether it is a false alarm or not). The HPD may refuse to respond to an alarm notification from a burglar alarm system that does not have a current and valid alarm permit.

Each alarm system must have a separate alarm permit. An alarm system may not be operated, used, installed or monitored to protect more than one alarm site.

The permit holder is required to maintain the alarm site in a manner that ensures proper operation or use of the alarm system. The permit holder is also required to ensure that the alarm system is maintained in a manner that will minimize the occurrence of false alarms.

Topic
Vehicle Auction

Questions

Auctions are conducted on the premises of the storage facility within a secure area. Access is provided only during the time police officers are present and the auction is in process.  Auctions begin immediately upon the officers arrival and the time to inspect vehicles to be auctioned is very short.  Vehicle may not be operated and you are limited to a visual inspection.

The time allotted to pick up the vehicle is largely at the discretion of the storage facility operator where the vehicle is sold. You are expected to take immediate possession, however each storage facility has its own policy. Making repairs or attempting to drive the vehicle from the storage area is also a matter of storage facility policy. You must make your arrangements with the storage facility operator.

The buyer takes the vehicle "as is, where is" and all sales are final.

The winning bidder is provided an "Auction Sales Receipt" by the police department.  This document must be taken to a county tax office to have the tile transferred into your name. Taxes must be paid as with any other car sales transaction.

Only one Auction Sales Receipt will be issued for the vehicle. You must request a title hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles to prove your ownership of the vehicle.