FAQ's

Do you have a question for the Police Department?  Check here for the most frequently asked questions and their answers.  If you don't find what you need here, feel free to contact us.

What is a dance permit? Do I need one? How do I get one?

The Arcata Municipal Code requires a dance permit for any public dance. Dance permit applications may be obtained at the Arcata Police Department during normal business office hours from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. To avoid last minute problems, we ask event organizers give a minimum of two weeks advance notice before submitting a dance permit request.

Dance permits enable our staff to work with event organizers to plan events with minimum noise and crowd disruptions to the surrounding neighborhoods and businesses. Dance permits also provide advance information to our staff when additional police personnel resources may be needed, especially for large events.

Depending on the venue and the activities taking place, event organizers may need additional permits such as a one day ABC license to sell alcoholic beverages, a building permit or approval from the Fire Marshall.

What are alarm permits? How do I get one?

Alarm permits are required for all alarm systems within the City of Arcata, except those affixed to vehicles. Applications are available at the Police Department. Alarm permits must be renewed annually for a nominal fee through the Arcata Police Department business office.

What is an alcohol permit? Do I need one?

A separate permit is required if alcohol is to be served at a dance or event open to the public. The actual permit is issued by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control in Eureka at the following address:

1105 6th Street
Eureka, CA 95501
(707) 445-7229
(707) 445-6643 (Fax)

What happens if the police are called to my house for a loud party?

Officers will respond to the party location based on a complaint received. It doesn’t matter what time it is; if the noise disturbance is loud enough to bother someone they can request police response. Officers will first contact the person responsible for the residence. We will advise the responsible person(s) of the complaint and issue a “Loud Party Warning Notice.” The majority of loud party complaints are rectified by stopping live music, turning stereos off or down, closing doors and/or windows, and/or asking loud party goers to leave.

If the police department receives a complaint at any time after a warning notice was issued, officers will return and contact the person to whom the loud party warning notice was issued. The officers will explain that a second call was received and direct that the party close down.

The number of officers who respond to stand by while the party is dispersed depends on the size of the party. The officers will stand by until all partygoers have left the area and the neighborhood is quiet. The person responsible for the party will be issued a “loud party disturbance citation” documenting the second complaint, the number of officers that responded, the time they arrived, and the time it took for quiet to be restored to the neighborhood. A copy of the citation will be provided to the responsible person at the scene. At a later date, the City of Arcata will mail a “service fee” based on the number of officers that responded and the number of minutes it took to restore the peace.

What about dog licenses? How do I get one?

Unlicensed dogs over four months old are not allowed in Arcata. Residents within the city limits must obtain an Arcata Dog License. If you live outside the city limits, you should contact the Humboldt County Sheriff Animal Control Division.

Arcata dog licenses can be purchased at the Finance Department window in the main foyer of City Hall, 736 F Street, Arcata CA 95521, (707) 822-5951. 

How do I contest a parking ticket?

You may send a written explanation (official forms are available in the front office at the Arcata Police Department) of why you feel you are not liable for the citation and send it to:

ETEC
P. O. Box 57025
Irvine, CA 92619-7025

You may also call ETEC at (800) 281-7275.

If you contest a citation and you are still held liable, you may pay the citation OR deposit the amount of the citation and request an administrative hearing. You may make this request in person at the Arcata Police Department Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Does the Arcata Police Department do fingerprinting?

The Arcata Police Department offers both inked fingerprinting and digitally scanned (Live Scan) fingerprinting services. We charge a fee for rolling the prints and picture ID is required. Our walk-in fingerprinting hours are 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 – 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Appointments may be made for other times by calling our business office at (707) 822-2428. Our rolling fee is $30.00.

If you need Live Scan fingerprints you will need to provide us with a completed “Request for Live Scan” form. If a billing number is not provided on your form, then you will need to pay the Department of Justice processing fee in addition to the rolling fee. These fees range from $0 to $100, depending on the type of agency requesting the prints and the level of service required.

For further information on applicant fingerprints, including how to obtain a review of criminal history records for visa, immigration or foreign adoption purposes, visit the Department of Justice website.

Do I have to keep my dog on a leash?

Yes. Dogs are not allowed to run at large. Arcata Municipal Code §5207 requires dogs be either secured within an enclosure or on a leash at all times.

How do I get a copy of an accident report?

Copies of accident reports may be requested for a nominal fee from our business office during the normal business hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Do I need a bicycle license?

Yes. A bicycle license is required to operate your bicycle on any highway, road, or other public property. If you purchased a license in another jurisdiction, the license is effective statewide. California Bike Licenses can be purchased from the Arcata Police Department Business Office during the normal business hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

I heard that I can't post flyers on telephone poles in Arcata. Why?

It is unlawful for anyone to place signs advertising sales or items for sale on property other than their own without prior permission. (California Penal Code §556.1)

What are the current laws relating to child safety seats ?

For expert advice and the most up to date laws, we recommend you refer to the California Highway Patrol.

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