AICC: New law would supersede Delaware mandate for in-state office

Proposed federal legislation targets duplicative and ‘time-consuming’ requirements by states
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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

YARMOUTH, Maine—A mandate for security businesses to have an in-state office to operate in Delaware would be superseded by legislation awaiting consideration by Congress, according to Lou Fiore, chairman of the Alarm Industry Communications Commission.

The Delaware Attorney General’s Office issued a mandate on June 10 that all security businesses operating in the state must have a registered agent in accordance with a state statute. A security business is defined as “a person or entity in the business of selling, providing, installing, maintaining, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing or providing monitoring services at a security system site.”

The office then filed a clarification stating that a registered agent would not be enough, and that “all security businesses shall have an office located in the state of Delaware with an operational telephone that shall be answered during regular business hours.”

The AICC is planning to introduce a bill, the Alarm Monitoring Model Licensing Act, which would establish a nationwide standard to help companies overcome what the committee called “logistical and time-consuming challenges” at the state level. The AICC specifically cited the need to eliminate duplicative background checks and training requirements for multi-state operations, but Fiore said the new Delaware mandate would also be covered.

“If our bill does in fact become law, then we’ll be OK,” he told Security Systems News. “No state or any entity would have the right to supersede that bill or law.”

Under the provisions of the bill, alarm monitoring companies would be required to be licensed in a home state where monitoring guidelines meet a proposed national standard. The companies would still have to submit forms and fees in every state where they’re required, but the nationally recognized license would alleviate the burden involved with overlapping training, testing and employee registration.

Fiore cited the following paragraph in the act that would cover the situation in Delaware: “No state or local governmental jurisdiction may restrict an alarm monitoring organization licensed in a state meeting this model act by imposing additional requirements or restrictions on alarm monitoring or on alarm monitoring organizations, except as expressly provided in this act.”

Fiore said it is doubtful the bill would be considered during the current session of Congress, especially given the fact that it is a presidential election year. He said the AICC is trying to get the act tacked onto another bill to speed the process.

“It usually takes two sessions for this kind of thing to happen, and sometimes it takes even longer,” he said. “We are shooting for when Congress reassembles in January. We’re going to pull out all the stops to make sure that happens.”