Battery backup to be required for new automatic garage door installations


Beginning next summer, landlords and other property owners will no longer be able to install automatic garage doors unless they have a battery backup function designed to operate during electrical outages.

Sen. Bill Dodd

While property owners won’t need to proactively install new automatic garage doors, any replacement door installed on or after July 1, 2019, must have the battery backup feature. The bill also provides for a civil penalty of $1,000 for a garage door not installed in compliance with the law.

The requirement comes from SB 969 by Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, and applies to all automatic garage door openers manufactured and sold for use in California for any residential building.

This page contains members-only content!
Sign In To Viewor learn more about joining CAA


  • Yes, the manual open is a safety backup. This highlights their ignorance. It is becoming increasingly frustrating to own and operate in CA.

  • Thanks for your comments. We’ve just updated the article with an excerpt from Sen. Dodd’s news release. The release points out that many people — such as seniors and those with heavy wooden garage doors — find it impossible to open their garage doors mannually.
    — Mike Nemeth, CAA

  • Natalie and Brian are both correct. How many times have we received that call during a power outage. More regulations to override common sense.

  • Seems to me this only applies to the replacement of the garage door. If my motor goes out, but I am not replacing the garage door, I can still install one without a battery back up?

  • I agree the comments above. In addition, with properly adjusted springs on a garage door, you can lift it with two fingers, even the wooden ones. This is an classic example of a “we must do something” legislation that does practically nothing. Also, what happens years from now when those batteries fail and no longer hold enough charge to open the door?

  • Thanks for your question. The law also applies when just replacing the opener but keeping an old door. Starting July 1, 2019, automatic door openers without battery backups will no longer be on the market in California.
    — Mike from CAA

  • Wouldn’t it be more responsible if they just made all older wooden garage doors be modified to the newer aluminum or metal type doors? They are much lighter and easily to lift manually. Back up Batteries will loose their charge after a short period of time. I am a private home inspector and run into this issue all the time.