I bought a hand built recumbent from Eugene, OR. It did not have a serial number stamped on it and none was required by law. When I tried to register it, the Honolulu City clerk insisted that the OR builder had to comply with Honolulu law and he refused to register the bike. After much discussion, the clerk finally admitted that an OR builder did not have to follow Honolulu laws, but he still refused to register the bike. I finally DEMANDED that the clerk give me a signed letter acknowledging that he refused to register the bike. Finally
the clerk decided to get on the phone and then came back and said he would register the bike (as opposed to writing the letter), BUT HE INSISTED THAT I HAD TO PUT SOMETHING IN THE SERIAL NUMBER BLANK ON THE FORM. The bike was built by HPM (Human Powered Machines), so I just wrote HPM down as the serial number.
The times I have called the police for a collision or for being run off the road, the first thing they were interested in, was if the bike was registered (even though they had my ID card in hand).
Other than BikeEd, little to none of the money has gone to projects that have actually provided safe cycling facilities.
Hopefully, the big yellow decal on my bike will at least get a bike thief to steal the bike next to mine, rather than mine.