Circulars and handbills can be a neighborhood nuisance. It’s illegal for vendors to put them in residents’ mailboxes. So, instead, they get shoehorned into doors and railings, causing litter on the streets of Fairmount.
What You Can Do
The good news is you can sign up to for a non-delivery list to prevent them from being delivered to your door. The Department of Licenses and Inspections maintains a commercial handbill Non-Delivery list identifying all properties whose owners who request it. If you do not want to receive hand-delivered advertising circulars or handbills, you can fill out this form.
To request non-delivery for local newspapers, complete the form, and provide a list of the local newspapers you do not want to receive.
As is pretty typical with government processes, the steps to adding yourself to this list are not that clear. I hope to clear up some of that confusion.
How to Submit
Once you fill out the form, you can mail it to:
Department of Licenses and Inspections
Circular Free Property Coordinator
1401 JFK Boulevard, Suite 1180
Philadelphia, PA 19102
You could also fax it to (215) 686-1443 or email it to email@example.com.
First of all, you need to be the homeowner lessee/agent to fill out the form.
Also, you’ll notice at the bottom of the form there is an oddly worded authorization.
According to this site, if you choose not to grant this authorization, the company will only receive a warning. Your authorization to share your address is required in order for the company to be fined.
Incorrect Fax Number
Also, apparently the fax number on the form is incorrect. Use the fax number listed above instead.
Posting Your Decal
Owners of registered properties will receive a “Circular Free Property” decal. When you receive yours, you need to post it somewhere visible from the sidewalk.
Reporting a Violation
You can get the details on how to report a violation from the city’s Useful Facts about the Handbill Ordinance document.
Filling Out Forms Electronically
It would be nice if the city provided homeowners with an online form. But, alas, that’s not the case. But because the form is formatted to be interactive, you can easily fill it out using Acrobat Reader (learn more) or Mac’s Preview app (learn more). Both of these are free apps.
The form doesn’t actually have to be formatted this way to use either of these programs; it’s just a little easier if they are.
So to fill out a PDF form the 21st century way, follow these steps:
- Save the form to your computer by pressing Ctrl-S (Mac: Command-S).
- Open it in either app.
- Click inside the first field and type.
- Press your Tab key to advance from field to field. If tabbing doesn’t work, you can manually select the next field. I had to manually select the second field but was then able to use my Tab key for the rest. Ymmv.
You can even create a signature in these apps to use for forms like this. Learn how for Acrobat Reader here and Preview here. This form is short, but this tip can save you a lot of time and aggravation with longer forms. And if you create a signature and submit the form electronically, you don’t have to print forms at all. That’s what the cool (albeit really nerdy) kids do. 🤓