For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(1) ALARM SYSTEM. Burglar alarms, security cameras, or other electrical or electronic device used to prevent or detect burglary, theft, shoplifting, pilferage, and other similar losses. The term does not include any fire detection, fire alarm, or fire communication system.
(2) ALARM SYSTEM INSTALLER. A person or business entity that offers to undertake, represents itself as being able to undertake, or does undertake the installation, service, or monitoring, of alarm systems for the public for any type of compensation.
(3) BURGLAR ALARM. An assembly of equipment and devices, or a single device such as a solid-state unit which plugs directly into an AC line, designed to detect an unauthorized intrusion or an attempted robbery at a protected premises or signal public police or private guards to respond, or both.
(4) CENTRAL STATION. A location where alarm signals are received as a part of an alarm system and then relayed via operator to law enforcement officials.
(5) CLOSED CIRCUIT TELEVISION SYSTEM (CCTV). A combination of electronic equipment and devices designed and arranged for the viewing, monitoring, or recording of video signals transmitted from transmitters, such as cameras, to receivers, such as monitors, digital video recorders, and network video recorders (NVR) through a closed cable or other video signal transmission method.
(6) ELECTRONIC ACCESS CONTROL SYSTEM. A system that is powered by the building's primary power source and is used as a process to grant or deny an individual access to a specific area or object based upon his or her possession of an item, a code, or physical characteristic.
(7) INSTALLATION. The initial placement of equipment or the extension, modification, or alteration of equipment after initial placement.
(8) LOCKSMITH. A person or business entity that offers to undertake, represents itself as being able to undertake, or does undertake the installation or service of locks for motor vehicles or for residential or commercial use.
(9) SERVICE. Necessary repair in order to return the system to operational condition.
(Acts 1997, No. 97-711, p. 1465, §1; Act 2004-103, p. 137, §3; Act 2006-541, p. 1250, §1; Act 2010-399, p. 655, §1; Act 2013-221, §1.)
Alabama Electronic Security Board of Licensure - Creation; composition; operation.
(a) The Alabama Electronic Security Board of Licensure is created.
(b) The board, which shall reflect the racial, gender, geographic, urban and rural, and economic diversity of the state, shall consist of the following members, who are citizens of this state, appointed by the Governor, and subject to confirmation by the Alabama Senate:
(1) Two members representing the alarm system industry selected from five nominees submitted by the Alabama Alarm Association.
(2) One member of the Alabama Consulting Engineers Association selected from three nominees submitted by that association.
(3) One member of the Alabama Sheriff's Association selected from three nominees submitted by that association.
(4) One member who is a locksmith selected from three nominees submitted by the Alabama Locksmith Association.
(5) A person who is a representative of the consumers of the state.
(c)(1) The terms of the board members shall be four years.
(2) Of these members first appointed, two shall be appointed to four-year terms, two for three-year terms, and one for a two-year term.
(3) Any vacancy occurring other than by expiration of terms shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term by appointment by the Governor, subject to the nominating process specified in subsection (b).
(4) No member shall serve more than two successive four-year terms.
(5) A member shall serve until a successor is appointed and assumes office.
(d) Members shall be paid out of the funds of the board the same per diem as prescribed by law for state employees for each day of attendance of board business.
(e) Meetings shall be held at least four times per year. Special meetings shall be held at the call of the chair or by a majority of the members.
(f)(1) The board may adopt rules of proceedings.
(2) Three members of the board constitute a quorum.
(3) The board shall elect a chair on an annual basis.
(Acts 1997, No. 97-711, p. 1465, §2; Act 2006-541, p. 1250, §1; Act 2008-94, p. 122, §3.)
Powers of board.
The board shall have all of the following powers:
(1) License and regulate persons and business entities engaged in business as an alarm system installer or as a locksmith.
(2) Establish the qualifications for licensure to ensure competency and integrity to engage in these businesses and allow graduates of technical school or community college programs in related fields to qualify. Qualifications for licensure shall include the requirement that the applicant is a United States citizen or legally present in this state.
(3) Examine, or cause to be examined, the qualifications of each applicant for licensure including the preparation, administration, and grading of examinations, and when necessary, requiring the applicant to supply a board approved background investigation.
(4) License qualified applicants regulated by the board.
(5) Revoke, suspend, or fail to renew a license for just cause as enumerated in the regulations of the board.
(6) Levy and collect reasonable fees for licensure, including, but not limited to, the application process and testing of applicants, and renewal, suspension, and reissuance of licenses, and costs of necessary hearings, that are sufficient to cover all expenses for the administration and operation of the board.
(7) Promulgate rules and regulations in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act necessary to perform its duties, to ensure continued competency, to prevent deceptive, misleading, or criminal practices by its licensees, and to effectively administer the regulatory system administered by the board.
(8) Register or by other means monitor employees of a licensee to ensure such employees do not impair the ability of the licensee to satisfy the requirements of this chapter.
(9) Receive and investigate complaints concerning the conduct of any person or business entity whose activities are regulated by the board, conduct hearings in accordance with procedures established by the board pursuant to the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act, and take appropriate disciplinary action if warranted.
(10) Ensure that periodic inspections are conducted relating to the operations of licensees to ensure competency and lawful compliance.
(11) Require the purchase of comprehensive liability insurance related to business activities in a minimum specified amount.
(12) Require licensees and employees of licensees have available a photo identification card at all times when providing licensed services.
(13) Promulgate canons of ethics under which the regulated professional activities of persons and business entities shall be conducted.
(14) Employ or contract for necessary personnel, including a director, and provide necessary offices, supplies, and equipment to fulfill the requirements of this chapter.
(15) Delegate its powers and duties by resolution to a named designee.
(16) Enter into contracts and expend funds of the board to fulfill the requirements of this chapter.
(17) Borrow money for the initial start-up operation of the board until sufficient receipts are paid into the special revenue trust fund specified in Section 34-1A-9.
(18) Work with the office of the Attorney General and other law enforcement agencies to prohibit any violation of this chapter.
(19) Establish volunteer procedures for those persons or businesses that are exempt from this chapter.
(20) Conduct inspections relating to the operations of unlicensed persons, firms, or corporations to include the solicitation, installation, servicing, monitoring of burglar alarm systems of a customer, or the holding of privacy codes for burglar alarm systems of a customer, or the selling, installation, or servicing of access control systems or CCTV to or for a customer to ensure lawful compliance with this chapter.
(Acts 1997, No. 97-711, p. 1465, §3; Act 2004-103, p. 137, §3; Act 2006-541, p. 1250, §1; Act 2008-94, p. 122, §3; Act 2013-221, §1.)
Duties of board.
(a) The board shall promulgate regulations and standards for the training and licensing of locksmiths and alarm system installers. The board shall examine and license and shall establish classifications for the purpose of training and licensing for licensees under this chapter based on the work performed. Licensees shall be classified as locksmith, burglar alarm, electronic access control system, closed circuit television system, or central station. Licensees shall be licensed in an appropriate classification in order to perform work in each respective classification.
(b) The board shall, after a public hearing and consultation with persons who are knowledgeable regarding the business and pursuant to the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act, establish by board rules or regulations competency standards and any changes of the standards.
(c) The board may evaluate the competency of applicants for licenses. The board may either develop and administer an examination to evaluate competency, or rely on an examination developed and administered by a national or regional professional association.
(Acts 1997, No. 97-711, p. 1465, §4; Act 2010-399, §1.)
Licenses - Issuance; fees; suspension or revocation; nonresident license; display; written service contracts; confidential information.
(a) The board shall issue licenses authorized by this chapter to all qualified individuals in accordance with rules or regulations established by the board.
(b) (1) Effective beginning January 1, 2014, the license fee for a two-year period as set by the board shall not exceed three hundred dollars ($300) for an individual and one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) for a business entity.
(2) Effective for the license year beginning January 1, 2014, and thereafter, the board may provide for the licenses to be renewed on a staggered basis as determine by rule of the board and, in order to stagger the license renewals, may issue the license for less than a two-year period. The amount of the license fees provided in subdivision (1) shall be prorated by the board on a monthly basis for the number of months the board issues the licenses in order to convert to any staggered system of renewals.
(c) The license shall not be transferred or assigned and is valid only with respect to the person to whom it is issued.
(d)(1) No license shall be granted if the applicant has had any prior business license revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, or any other act that would constitute a violation of this chapter.
(2)a. An applicant shall not be refused a license solely because of a prior criminal conviction, unless the criminal conviction directly relates to the occupation or profession for which the license is sought. The board may refuse a license if, based on all the information available, including the applicant's record of prior convictions, the board finds that the applicant is unfit or unsuited to engage in the business.
b. The board may consult with appropriate state or federal law enforcement authorities to verify whether an applicant has a criminal record prior to granting any license and, as an aid to this duty, each applicant may be required to provide his or her fingerprints and complete an affidavit of his or her criminal record, if any, as a part of the application. The board may periodically consult with state and federal law enforcement officials to determine whether current licensees have new criminal convictions.
(e) Any license granted pursuant to this chapter shall be issued for a two-year period, but may be staggered for renewal as otherwise provided for. Any license shall expire on a schedule established by rule of the board, unless it is renewed pursuant to regulations established by the board or unless it is suspended or revoked.
(f) An affirmative vote of a majority of board members shall be required before any action to suspend or revoke a license, to impose a sanction on a licensee, or to levy a monetary penalty. A board member shall disqualify himself or herself and withdraw from any case in which he or she cannot accord fair and impartial consideration.
(g) A nonresident of this state may be licensed by meeting one of the following requirements:
(1) Conforming to the provisions of this chapter and the regulations of the board.
(2) Holding a valid license in another state with which reciprocity has been established by the board.
(h) A licensee shall display the license at its normal place of business and in a manner easily readable by the general public.
(i) A notice shall be displayed prominently in the place of business of each licensee regulated pursuant to this chapter containing the name, mailing address, and telephone number of the board, and a statement informing consumers that complaints against licensees may be directed to the board.
(j) The license number of a licensee shall be displayed in all advertising.
(k) The board shall prepare information of consumer interest describing the regulatory functions and describing the procedures of the board by which consumer complaints shall be filed with and resolved by the board. The board shall make the information available to the general public and appropriate state agencies. The board shall provide upon request a listing of all licensees. The board may collect a fee for the cost of duplicating and mailing materials.
(l) Each written contract for services in the state of a licensee shall contain the name, mailing address, and telephone number of the board and a statement informing consumers that complaints against licensees may be directed to the board.
(m) Notice of the issuance, revocation, reinstatement, or expiration of every license issued by the board shall be furnished to the sheriff of the county and the chief of police, as appropriate, and the inspection department of the city where the principal place of business of a licensee is located.
(n) Information contained in alarm system records held by the board concerning the location of an alarm system, the name of the occupant residing at the alarm system location, or the type of alarm system used shall be confidential and disclosed only to the board or as otherwise required by law.
(Acts 1997, No. 97-711, p. 1465, §5; Act 98-279, p. 457, §1; Act 2012-177, p. 277, §3; Act 2013-221, §1.)
Licenses - Exceptions.
The licensing and regulatory provision of this chapter shall not apply to any of the following persons, entities, or activities:
(1) A person or business entity which only sells alarm systems at the premises of a customer, but does not enter the premises of the customer or install, service, monitor, or respond to the alarm system at the premises of the customer.
(2) The installation, servicing, monitoring, or responding to an alarm device which is installed in a motor vehicle, aircraft, or boat.
(3) The installation of an alarm system on property owned by or leased to the installer.
(4) A person or business entity who owns, installs, or monitors alarm systems, on his or her own property or, if he or she does not charge for the system or its installation, installs it for the protection of his or her personal property located on the property of another, and does not install or monitor the system as a normal business practice on the property of another.
(5) A person or business entity whose sale of an alarm system or lock is exclusively over-the-counter or by mail order.
(6) A person or business entity in the business of building construction that installs electrical wiring and devices that may include in part the installation of an alarm system if both of the following apply:
a. The person or business entity is a party to a contract that provides that the installation shall be performed under the direct supervision of, inspected, and certified by a person or business entity licensed to install an alarm system and that the licensee assumes full responsibility for the installation and service of the alarm system.
b. The person or business entity does not service, monitor, or maintain the alarm system.
(7) The response to an alarm system by a law enforcement agency or by a law enforcement officer acting in an official capacity.
(8) A business that engages in the installation or operation of telecommunications facilities or equipment which are used for the transport of any signal, data, or information outside the continuous premises on which any alarm system is installed or maintained.
(9) Any business entity, business owner, or person, or the agent or employee of such business entity, business owner, or person engaging in the routine visual inspection or manufacturer's or installer's recommended testing of an alarm system subject to this chapter owned by the business entity, business owner, or person and installed on property under the control of the business entity, business owner, or person.
(10) Any business entity, or person, or those engaged in property management, or agent or subcontractors or employees thereof, who, in the normal course of business, engage in the routine inspection, service, or replacement of such alarm systems, fire alarm or fire/smoke detection systems, fire communication systems, or security devices subject to this chapter, on or in property owned or under the control of such business entity, or person, or property manager.
(11) Consulting engineers who design, develop, modify, or offer other services within the scope of their profession regarding alarm systems.
(12) A licensed general contractor and the employees of the contractor whose activities are limited to the projects that qualify for a license by the State Licensing Board for General Contractors.
(13) A licensed electrician, master electrician, and electrical contractor who is licensed by the city, county, or state and their employees whose activities are limited to the projects of the licensed electrician, master electrician, and electrical contractor.
(14) A licensed homebuilder and the employees of the homebuilder whose activities are limited to the projects of the licensed homebuilder.
(15) A new motor vehicle dealer, as defined in subdivision (9) of Section 40-12-390 and licensed by the Department of Revenue, and employees of the dealer who are replacing or repairing locks or burglar alarm systems on motor vehicles in the dealer's inventory or on customer-owned vehicles delivered to the dealer for repair.
(Acts 1997, No. 97-711, p. 1465, §6; Act 2000-143, p. 203, §3; Act 2004-103, p. 137, §3; Act 2006-541, p. 1250, §1; Act 2013-221, §1.)
Licenses - Required.
(a) Effective January 1, 1998, it shall be unlawful for any person or business entity to engage in a business regulated by this chapter in this state without a current valid license or in violation of this chapter and applicable rules and regulations of the board.
(b) Effective January 1, 1998, it shall be unlawful for a person or business entity not licensed under this chapter to advertise or hold out to the public that he or she is a licensee of the board.
(c) Any person or business entity who violates this chapter or any order, rule, or regulation of the board shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, and for each offense for which he or she is convicted shall be punished as provided by law.
(d) Effective January 1, 1998, it shall also constitute a Class A misdemeanor to willfully or intentionally do any of the following:
(1) Obliterate the serial number on an alarm system for the purpose of falsifying service reports.
(2) Knowingly and deliberately improperly install an alarm system, or knowingly and deliberately improperly service such a system.
(3) While holding a license, allow another person or business entity to use the license or license number.
(4) Use, or permit the use of, any license by a person or business entity other than the one to whom the license is issued.
(5) Use any credential, method, means, or practice to impersonate a representative of the board.
(6) Make use of any designation provided by statute or regulation to denote a standard of professional or occupational competence without being duly licensed.
(7) Make use of any title, words, letters, or abbreviations which may reasonably be confused with a designation provided by statute or regulation to denote a standard of professional or occupational competence without being duly licensed.
(8) Provide material misrepresenting facts in an application for licensure or in other communications with the board.
(9) Refuse to furnish the board information or records required or requested pursuant to statute or regulation.
(e) The board may institute proceedings in equity to enjoin any person or business entity from engaging in any unlawful act enumerated in this chapter. Such proceedings shall be brought in the name of this state by the board in the circuit court of the city or county in which the unlawful act occurred or in which the defendant resides.
(f) In addition to any other disciplinary action taken by the board, any person or business entity licensed by the board who violates this chapter or rule or regulation promulgated pursuant to this chapter shall be subject to a monetary penalty. If the board determines that the person is in fact guilty of the violation, the board shall determine the amount of the monetary penalty for the violation, which shall not exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each violation. The board may file a civil action to collect the penalty.
(g) The board is entitled to costs and reasonable attorney fees in any civil action or administrative proceeding in which the board obtains relief.
(h) In addition to or in lieu of the criminal penalties and administrative sanctions provided in this chapter, the board may issue an order to any person, firm, or corporation engaged in any activity, conduct, or practice constituting a violation of this chapter to show cause why an order should not be issued directing the person, firm, or corporation to cease and desist from the activity, conduct, practice, or the performance of any work being done then or about to be commenced. If the person, firm, or corporation files a written request for a hearing before the board within 14 days after receipt of the order, the board, not less than 30 days thereafter, shall hold a hearing on the matter. After a hearing, or if no hearing is requested, the board may issue a cease and desist order to the person, firm, or corporation. If an order is issued, the order shall be issued in the name of the State of Alabama under the official seal of the board. If the person, firm, or corporation to whom the board directs a cease and desist order does not cease or desist the proscribed activity, conduct, practice, or performance of the work immediately, the board may petition any court of competent jurisdiction to issue a writ of injunction enjoining the person, firm, or corporation from engaging in any activity, conduct, practice, or performance of work as prohibited by this chapter. Upon a showing by the board that the person, firm, or corporation has engaged or is engaged in any activity, conduct, practice, or performance of any work prohibited by this chapter, the court shall grant injunctive relief enjoining the person, firm, or corporation from engaging in such unlawful activity, conduct, practice, or performance of work. Upon the issuance of a permanent injunction, the court may fine the offending party up to five thousand dollars ($5,000), plus costs and attorney fees, for each offense. A judgment for a civil fine, attorney fees, and costs may be rendered in the same judgment in which the injunction is made absolute.
(i) Any person violating this chapter who fails to cease work after a hearing and notification from the board shall not be eligible to apply for a license from the board for a period not to exceed one year from the date of official notification to cease work. In addition, the board may withhold approval for up to six months of any application from any person who prior to the application has been found in violation of this chapter.
(Acts 1997, No. 97-711, p. 1465, §7; Act 2004-103, p. 137, §3; Act 2013-221, §1.)
(a) This chapter and the rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to this chapter shall have uniform force and effect throughout the state. A municipality or county shall not enact an order, ordinance, rule, or regulation requiring a person or business entity to obtain a certification from the municipality or county, other than proof of a valid license issued by the board.
(b) This chapter shall not affect any general statute or municipal ordinance requiring a business license for an alarm system installer.
(c) Nothing in this chapter limits the power of a municipality, a county, or the state to require the submission and approval of plans and specifications or to regulate the quality and character of work performed by contractors through a system of licenses, fees, and inspections otherwise authorized by law for the protection of the public health and safety.
(Acts 1997, No. 97-711, p. 1465, §8.)
Alabama Electronic Security Board of Licensure Fund established.
A separate special revenue trust fund in the State Treasury to be known as the Alabama Electronic Security Board of Licensure Fund is established. All receipts collected by the board under this chapter are to be deposited into this fund and shall be used only to carry out the provisions of this chapter. The receipts shall be disbursed only by warrant of the state Comptroller upon the State Treasury, upon itemized vouchers approved by the chair of the board. No funds shall be withdrawn or expended except as budgeted and allotted according to Sections 41-4-80 to 41-4-96, inclusive, and 41-19-1 to 41-19-12, inclusive, and only in amounts as stipulated in the general appropriations bill or other appropriations bills.
(Acts 1997, No. 97-711, p. 1465, §9.)
Applicability of chapter.
This chapter shall not apply to a person or business entity that is located in and only conducts business in a county having a population of less than 30,000 inhabitants according to the most recent federal decennial census that would otherwise be required to be licensed under this chapter if the person or business entity had a business license for the installation, service, or monitoring of burglar alarm systems for five or more continuous years prior to August 1, 2013, except newly hired employees who must be subject to a background check by the board.
(Acts 1997, No. 97-711, p. 1465, §11; Act 2013-221, §1.)
The Alabama Electronic Security Board of Licensure is subject to the provisions of the Alabama Sunset Law of 1981, and is classified as an enumerated agency pursuant to Section 41-20-3. The board shall automatically terminate on October 1, 2000, and every four years thereafter, unless a bill is passed that the board be continued, modified, or reestablished.