Local Ordinances

Local City/County Ordinances

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department oversees the enforcement of various ordinances that provide safety for the citizens of the community. They include:

Noise Ordinance

Lodging a Noise Complaint

Residents can call 911 or 311 to register a noise complaint. When a 911 Operator or 311 Operator receives a call for service regarding a noise complaint he or she will attempt to obtain the complainant's name and contact information. Each patrol division is responsible for addressing noise complaints generated within that patrol division. Officers responding to a noise related call for service shall determine the location of the noise producer and apply the appropriate section of the noise ordinance for that location. Officers test the level of sound using a sound level meter measuring db(A) and db(C) scales. db(A) scale is associated with amplified sound as related to residential property. db(C) scale is associated with outdoor amplification and music from commercial establishments (restaurants, bars, nightclubs etc.).

Where there is a violation of any section of the Noise Ordinance, the officer at his or her discretion, may take one or more of the following enforcement actions:

  • Warning;
  • City Citation;
  • Uniform Citation; and,
  • Arrest

City/County Noise Ordinances

In order to comply with the City/County laws regarding noise, please review the following Noise Ordinances. If you would like to apply for Additional Amplification, please follow the instructions on the Application for Additional Amplification. Please note that this application process does not allow the use of "robo-sending" to submit noise permit applications.

City Noise Ordinance - Noise Ordinance.pdf(PDF, 1MB)

County Noise Ordinance - County Noise Ordinance.pdf(PDF, 16KB)

Form-Sound Application Permit Request-Public Right of Way [Cannot be submitted more than 7 days in advance]

Form-Sound Application Permit Request-Other Than Public Property [Must be submitted at least 10 business days in advance] *Once application has been completed and submitted, applicant is required to notify all property owners within 1000 feet of their intent to use amplified sound. The permit will be approved once a notarized statement has been submitted to noisepermits@cmpd.org stating that the required notification has been made.

Large Outdoor Music Facility Permit Online Application

Dance Hall Ordinance

No adult or juvenile dancehall shall be allowed to operate without a valid dancehall permit issued by the Chief of Police. It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a dancehall without the permit. An application for a permit must be made by the owner of the business on a form prescribed by the chief of police and submitted to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department ABC Unit.

Sergeant Robert Stark

Detective Travis Cook

Towing Ordinance

Amendments to the Towing and Booting Ordinance will go into effect on January 22, 2016.

For more details on the amendments(PDF, 3MB)...

The North Carolina Supreme Court overruled on sections of the Towing Ordinance on June 12, 2014 in the case of George King d/b/a George's Towing and Recovery v. Town of Chapel Hill, determining that the Town had no authority to enact ordinance provisions that capped the amount of money towing companies could charge for towing services.

In light of this decision, effective immediately, Officers should cease enforcing the following sections of the City's Towing Ordinance: Sec. 6-564 (1) – (4), Sec. 6-565 (a) and Sec. 6-565 (b). Sec. 6-564 (1) – (4) of the City Ordinance capped the fees that towing companies could charge for trespass tows, additional services (ex. using dollies, trailers, lifts, or slim jims), vehicle storage and booting a vehicle. Sec. 6-565 (a) prohibited towing companies from charging a fee for an uncompleted trespass tow, and Sec. 6-565 (b) prohibited towing companies from charging a fee for the retrieval of property from an illegally parked vehicle. Officers responding to a call for service involving a trespass tow or vehicle booting may still enforce the remaining sections of the City's Ordinance, such as: Sec. 6-563, notice and signage requirements (see below); Sec. 6-564 (5), booting services required to accept payment in cash, and at least two (2) major credit cards and debit cards; and, Sec. 6-565 (c) – (f), trespass tow practices (see below). Officers on-scene dealing with situations involving illegally parked vehicles where citizens are requesting towing company operators release their vehicle and/or allow them to retrieve property from their vehicle, are advised to maintain the peace to ensure that the situation remains orderly. Officers can advise citizens that they may wish to seek private legal counsel to address their dispute with the towing company.

Sec. 6-563. Trespass towing of vehicles from private parking lots; signs required.

It shall be unlawful to tow or remove or immobilize by use of any wheel lock or other method, a motor vehicle that is parked on private property or private parking lot without the permission of the owner or lessee of the motor vehicle unless notice is posted in accordance with the provisions of this section on the private property from which the towing, removal, or immobilization occurs. The notice shall meet the following requirements:

(1) The notice must be in the form of a sign structure and not less than 24 inches by 24 inches and not larger than six square feet and constructed of metal, plastic or other type of material that is enduring in nature. The notice shall be prominently posted on the private property at each access or curb cut allowing vehicle access to the property and within five feet of the street right of way line. If there are no curb or access barriers, notices shall be posted not less than every 50 feet facing the frontage of the public street and facing the private parking lot. In addition, a sign not less than 12 inches by 18 inches in size may be posted with lettering on both sides at each parking space from which an unauthorized vehicle could be towed, removed, or immobilized.

(2) The notice shall clearly display the following:

a. In not less than one and one-half inch high letters red in color on a contrasting white background, the words "tow-away-zone" or "towing enforced."

b. In not less than one inch high letters red in color on a contrasting white background, a statement that parking is never authorized by stating "private property - no parking" or where parking is permitted under limited circumstances, by stating "authorized parking only" or "leased parking only", or "parking for ____________ customers only", or "parking for residents only", or a similar phrase that specifically identifies the conditions under which someone may park on the property. If parking is only allowed for a specified time, then the sign shall specifically state the days and hours when parking is permitted.

c. In not less than one inch high letters red in color on a contrasting white background, the phone number that a person can call to retrieve the towed vehicle and the name and address of the storage facility where the vehicle is stored.

(3) The sign displaying the required notices shall be permanently installed with the bottom of the sign not less than three feet foot above ground level and the top of the sign not more than eight feet above ground level.

Sec. 6-565. Trespass towing of vehicles from private parking lots; practices


(c) Any towing service that engages in a trespass tow or any storage facility that receives motor vehicles that have been towed as a result of a non-consensual tow from private property shall accept cash and at least two major credit cards and any debit card for any fee established by this article. Upon request, the employee for the towing service or storage facility will provide a receipt to the owner or operator of the towed motor vehicle.

(d) Any towing service that engages in a trespass tow or any storage yard that receives motor vehicles that have been towed as a result of a non-consensual tow from private property shall have a person on call 24 hours every day who acknowledges requests to retrieve a towed motor vehicle within 15 minutes of receiving an inquiry from the owner or operator of the towed motor vehicle. If the owner or operator wishes to retrieve the motor vehicle, then the towing service or storage facility must make the vehicle available within 45 minutes of the request.

(e) The lot or facility to which a trespass towed vehicle is removed shall be located within the city limits.

(f) No towing service shall remove a motor vehicle from a private lot from the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. unless the owner or agent of the private lot signs a contemporaneous specific written authorization for such removal which is presented to the wrecker driver of the towing service. The agent must be someone other than an employee of the towing service. The written authorization shall contain the reason for the tow, the make, model, year, color, vehicle identification number (VIN) and license plate number. The wrecker driver shall contact the non-emergency number for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and provide the above information. The motor vehicle will not be removed from the private lot until the driver has been advised of a complaint number.

To view a full copy of the Towing Ordinance, please follow the link: Amended Towing Ordinance 2016(PDF, 3MB).

Youth Protection Ordinance

The City of Charlotte has enacted a Youth Protection Ordinance that imposes a curfew for juveniles under 16 years of age. Juveniles under the age of 13 cannot be in a public place or business from 10:00 pm until 6:00 am on any day of the week. Juveniles ages 13-15 cannot be in a public place or business from 11:00 pm until 6:00 am on any day of the week (unless they fall within one of the exceptions listed below).

A person will be in violation of this ordinance if they are:

A juvenile and he/she is in a public place or premises of an establishment during the restricted hours.

A parent, guardian or custodian of a juvenile and he/she knowingly allows a juvenile to remain in a public place or on the premises of an establishment during the restricted hours.

A business owner or operator and he/she knowingly allows a juvenile to remain upon the premises during the restricted hours.

A person 16 years of age or older who aids and abets a juvenile in violating this ordinance.

A juvenile that violates this ordinance is subject to being adjudicated delinquent.

Any person other than a juvenile who violates this ordinance is guilty of a misdemeanor which requires a mandatory court appearance.

A juvenile who is in a public place or business during the restricted hours is not in violation of this ordinance if they are:

  1. Accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  2. Accompanied by an adult 21 years or older who is authorized to be accompanying the juvenile for the designated period of time and purpose.
  3. On an errand, using a direct route, until 10:30 p.m. for juveniles under the age of 13 and 11:30 p.m. for juveniles ages 13-15.
  4. In a motor vehicle, with parental consent, engaged in interstate travel through the city originating or terminating the city.
  5. Traveling in a motor vehicle with a parent or guardian or other authorized person adult age 21 or older.
  6. Engaged in lawful employment or using a direct route to or from a place of employment.
  7. Reacting or responding to an emergency.
  8. Attending or traveling to or from an official function sponsored by the schools, a government or religious entity, a civic organization, or other entity that accepts responsibility for the juveniles.
  9. Exercising first amendment rights such as a free exercise of religion, freedom of speech and the right to assembly.
  10. Married or emancipated.
  11. When authorized by special permit from the Chief of Police when the necessary nighttime activities of the juveniles are not adequately addressed by other provisions of this ordinance.

Rental Property Ordinance

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Residential Rental Property Registration Application link:

To register your rental property, click https://rentalregistration.charlottenc.gov

An owner, who is defined as the person, persons or legal entity that holds legal title to a Residential Rental Property, must provide their name, business and personal contact information (no public or private post office boxes) and an email address.

Voluntary registration of residential rental properties allows owners, as well as property managers, to receive email alerts for calls for service or incidents that may be attributed to the registered property. Email alerts may only be sent to valid email addresses.

Remedial Action Plan Manual

This manual is intended to help those involved in managing properties understand that problems associated with crime and disorder can be solved in the same way that problems like high resident turnover or poor cash flow can be solved- with hard work and creative ideas. While finding solutions to these problems may demand different skills than the more traditional challenges in property management, acquiring those skills is essential to the well-being of any property. The economics of solutions should be a priority as no cost or low-cost solutions should be considered first in the preparation of a Remedial Action Plan.

This plan is intended to be a guide for all property managers, both single-family and multi-family. Different properties have different needs and parts of this manual may not apply to your individual property. Managers should take from this manual those sections that apply to their property type.

View the Remedial Action Plan Manual(PDF, 908KB).

For more information on the ordinance, contact Donna Burgess at 704-807-8881 or J.R. Mount at 704-432-6044.

Extraordinary Events/Recently Passed Ordinances

* The City of Charlotte, ordained by the City Council of Charlotte, North Carolina, has amended Chapter 15 - Offenses and Miscellaneous Provisions to include a new Article XIV to define Extraordinary Events and the procedures that accompany such a declared event.

The City Manager may declare an extraordinary event, fix the location or boundaries of the extraordinary event, and establish the period of time of the extraordinary event. Upon this declaration of an extraordinary event, the City Manager will identify and administer a fair and content-neutral process for submitting and issuing permits to participate in the extraordinary event. As well, the City Manager will make sure that the proper laws and regulations are upheld and enforced for the safety of the citizens and visitors of Charlotte during this extraordinary event.

To read the full "Extraordinary Event" ordinance, follow the link to open the pdf(PDF, 112KB).

* The City of Charlotte, ordained by the City Council of Charlotte, North Carolina, has amended Chapter 15 - Offenses and Miscellaneous Provisions to include a new Sections 15-26, 15-27, 15-28, 15-29, 15-30 and 15-31 to prohibit camping, obstructions, possession/dispersal of noxious substances and other activities on public property, roadways and public right of way.

The City Manager has defined camp or camping as the use of city property for living accommodation purposes such as sleeping or making preparations to sleep (including the laying down of bedding for the purpose of sleeping), or storing personal belongings, or placing any tents or a temporary shelter (tents, tarps or any type of structure or cover that provides partial shelter from the elements) on city property for living accommodation purposes.

The City Manager has deemed it unlawful for any person, other than governmental employees in the performance of their duty, to possess any obstruction object or instrument with the intent to obstruct a public road, public sidewalk, public right of way, entrance or exit to private property or any other area open to the public.

Possession of noxious substances (harmful or destructive substances that is foul or offensive to human beings, such as but not limited to garbage, trash, refuse, animal parts or fluids, manure, urine, feces or other organic waste by-products) with the intent to use, throw, emit or form a projectile to disperse upon or interfere with a lawful assembly, emergency services or a person's right to entry or exit a place is strictly unlawful.

To the read the full Section additions to the Article I of Chapter 15 of the City Code, follow the link to open the pdf(PDF, 110KB).

* The City of Charlotte, ordained by the City Council of Charlotte, North Carolina, has amended Chapter 19 - Streets, Sidewalks and Other Public Places to include amended subsections (a) and (b) to Section 19-303 to define and enforce the picketing parameters.

To read the full amendments to the ordinance, follow the link to open the pdf(PDF, 123KB).

Picketing Ordinance

The Charlotte City Council considered revisions to the Picketing Ordinance, which was enacted in 1985. City staff held meetings with various community stakeholders to solicit input on the proposals and the resulting ordinance includes modifications as a result of that feedback. The City Community Safety Committee also solicited and received comments from stakeholders regarding the proposal, prior to approving the revisions and recommending it to the full Council.

On June 14, 2004, the City Council approved and passed the new Picketing Ordinance(PDF, 15KB). The new ordinance covers city owned property only and allows picketing on sidewalks, city owned parks and other pedestrian walkways.

The main changes in the new ordinance include a notification provision to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) for groups of 50 or more pickets; a prohibition against picketing on the median strip; and a prohibition against targeted residential picketing. Groups who wish to assemble in the city streets or have a festival in city parks will continue to obtain the necessary permits through the City Permit Official.

The new ordinance requires that when the organizer of a picket reasonably believes the group will consist of 50 or more pickets, the CMPD must be notified of their intent to picket 48 hours prior to the event. The organizer will be given a receipt to carry with them during the event. The purpose of the notification for 50 or more individuals is to enable the police department to make any necessary preparations for large groups, such as adding more officers to provide traffic control, in order to protect the public.

The notification is not a permit and the CMPD is not giving permission to picket. The notification form provides contact information and location information for planning purposes.

Picketing Information and Notification Forms

The notification form is available on the WEBSITE, at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Headquarters or at the Division Offices. The form may be printed from this site and faxed to 704-336-6040, e-mailed to PicketingNotifications@cmpd.org , or mailed to 601 East Trade Street, Charlotte, NC 28202, or delivered to the CMPD.

Alarm Registration/False Alarms Ordinance

CMPD False Alarm Reduction Unit
601 E. Trade St. Charlotte, NC 28202
Office: 704.432.0431 Fax: 704.336.5712

Online Alarm Application Assistance
To apply for an alarm permit click here.

  • To renew / update an alarm permit, pay a fine, or otherwise service your account, call (877)893-5269 to get a password to access the website.