Peddlers, Solicitors & Transient Merchants

Solicitors/peddlers must apply for and receive a permit through the East Lansing City Clerk’s office. As a part of that permit process, the individual is required to submit fingerprints and a criminal background check is conducted. View the City Code. View the Solicitors/Peddlers Application (PDF).

Solicitors and peddlers with permits are prohibited from entering a residence under a pretense other than for soliciting or peddling, remaining in a private residence after being asked to leave, entering the premises of a private residence to solicit or peddle when the occupant has displayed a “no soliciting” or “no peddling” sign and soliciting or peddling prior to 9 a.m. and after 9 p.m. unless a prior invitation by the occupant has been granted.

The following peddlers, solicitors and transient merchants are currently authorized to operate in the City of East Lansing (updated 1/11/22):

  • Merchants/Organizations:
    Bradley Atchison/Farm Bureau Insurance 
    Aptive Environmental
    Reserve Marketing, LLC
In addition to the above authorized solicitors, individuals with the following organizations/nonprofits are also permitted to go door-to-door. Their speech is protected and is not regulated by the City Clerk:

  • Fund for the Public Interest
  • Environment Michigan
  • Clean Water Action

Helpful Hints

  • A solicitor / peddler who comes to a neighbor’s door must have a City-issued permit with them. Community members should make sure to ask to see the permit.
  • If the solicitor/peddler does not have a permit, community members can advise the individual to contact the City Clerk’s office for information on how to apply for one.
  • Community members can report an unlicensed solicitor or peddler by calling the East Lansing Police Department non-emergency number at (517) 351-4220 ext. 2. An officer will be dispatched to the neighborhood to make contact with the individual(s). The incident can also be reported to the City Clerk’s office by calling (517) 319-6914. In the case of a safety concern, dial 911.