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Old 03-24-14, 04:37 PM   #1
Shamrock
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Bicycle license plate

Does any State,County or Town require a license plate for a bicycle?In NJ I'm not aware of any.Years ago some towns around here required them.The large city cops couldn't be bothered but small towns were known for throwing your bike in the trunk.Leave you standing there,advise you to obtain a plate and pick up your bike at the police station.

So the next question is if a license is required what about out of staters,anyone ever have a problem?
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Old 03-24-14, 04:46 PM   #2
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Old 03-24-14, 05:10 PM   #3
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A lot of towns used to require a registration sticker - nominal fee of $1 or so. I don't know of any that do now.
When I was a kid you got them from the police station. They supposedly helped to recover stolen bikes, applying for one gave them the opportunity to pass out a safety brochure.




Fun story - about 20 years ago I had a bicycle stolen - reported it to LPS for the insurance including the serial number.

A few weeks later, a cop called me and said he had my bike. Cop was behind a guy on a bike who just sort of fell over. Cop checked to see if he was OK and noticed that the fallen rider's bike had black tape over the brand name decals... signs of a stolen bike. Since the bicycle DIDN'T have the required city registration sticker, an infraction had been committed and that gave the cop reasonable cause to run the serial number; otherwise no infraction, no serial number check, thief would still have my bike.
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Old 03-24-14, 06:15 PM   #4
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^ Nice.

California permits counties and cities to require bicycle licenses for residents' bicycle use within their jx. For obvious reasons, non residents need not have a license. Also by law, the fees collected are used to defray the cost of the licensing program and no more (probably why so few jurisdictions require them).

In times past, Los Angeles required a bicycle license. As a little kid, I remember thinking how cool that was. Now, I would regard it as an intrusive PITA.

Mine looked something like this:

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Old 03-24-14, 06:25 PM   #5
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Boston and Cambridge MA, require them only of working messengers. The state law used to allow cities and towns to require it by local ordinance though. This was under the general laws, chapter 85, section 11A. This was repealed in 2008.

This aside, all cities and towns did have voluntary registration, years ago. The plates were green, oval shaped affairs, with the town name on them. These are now collectables in some corners. The Broadway bicycle school (a shop, actually) has several of these hanging in the window. Check this photo out, and you can see some on the wall, just to the left of the chain rings.

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Old 03-24-14, 06:29 PM   #6
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I'll register my bicycle when you pry it from my cold, dead hands
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Old 03-24-14, 08:05 PM   #7
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When I was growing up outside of Milwaukee, WI, all cities required them. Nice metal ones about the size of motorcycle plates. We used to hang them from the saddle, but then at some point it became the cool thing to shove them into the spokes on the rear wheel.

Here in Honolulu they are required (stickers). All bike stores must obtain and apply prior to transferring to buyer. Failure to have sticker can result in immediate impoundment. That being said when I moved from the mainland I didn't have a sticker on one bike and never bothered to get one. I was refused entry to a military base once at the gate but that was it. The same sticker is required for mopeds and I think the cops are a little tighter about that.

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Old 03-24-14, 08:19 PM   #8
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My son lives in State College, PA where they require registration stickers. The nice thing about it was the police was able to get his previously stolen bike back to him. It was left sitting in a bike rack at the Penn State campus at the end of the school year. It was weathered and needed work but I was able to recondition it and now my wife rides it.
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Old 03-25-14, 07:38 AM   #9
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Bicycle registration is a can of worms that some city b'crats try to get into effect. Police have more to do these days than chase down little Susie to see if she has a bike license plate. Up against the wall Susie, hands behind your back, we are going to cuff you, and take you off to jail you evil law breaker!!!!!!!! You are a menace to society!!!!!!
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Old 03-25-14, 07:55 AM   #10
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We used to have metal ones in Vancouver back in the '50's. These days, half the bikes on the street are ridden by bums, who probably wouldn't register their (stolen) bikes. Heck, they can't even get anyone to wear helmets here. On the theory that cyclists should contribute something toward all these expensive bike lanes etc., I think they should just have a small levy on bikes and parts at point of sale.
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Old 03-25-14, 08:46 AM   #11
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IN my town there used to be a requirement that you have one (sticker). I've one on my c-dale but not on the other bikes and I don't know if that is still in effect.
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Old 03-25-14, 11:00 AM   #12
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What happens if I, on a trip, ride my bike through a town that requires a plate?
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Old 03-27-14, 03:19 AM   #13
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What happens if I, on a trip, ride my bike through a town that requires a plate?
In Honolulu that doesn't seem to be too much of an issue.

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Old 03-28-14, 10:36 PM   #14
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My town has an unenforced tag law. No one in 10 years has registered a bike but it is still on the books.
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Old 03-28-14, 11:17 PM   #15
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What happens if I, on a trip, ride my bike through a town that requires a plate?
In California at least, only residents of the jurisdiction can be required to have one. So if you're not a resident, no problem. And that makes sense ... otherwise you'd need multiple licenses just to go from one city to another.
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Old 03-30-14, 09:08 PM   #16
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[QUOTE=DiabloScott;16607605]A lot of towns used to require a registration sticker - nominal fee of $1 or so. I don't know of any that do now.
When I was a kid you got them from the police station. They supposedly helped to recover stolen bikes, applying for one gave them the opportunity to pass out a safety brochure.

================================================
My reflective green city sticker from the 80's is caught glowing in this photo of my old Fuji currently undergoing a overhaul after a long lay off. Can't wait to get it back on the road. I always liked the city registration program, not that it ever did much good. The LA sticker is nice !
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File Type: jpg Fuji 2.jpg (99.3 KB, 19 views)
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Old 03-30-14, 09:25 PM   #17
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I grew up in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C.. There were only two incorporated "towns" in Prince Georges County (IIRC) at the time; College Park and Bowie. The county police had a voluntary registration program (or maybe it wasn't really enforced). My '75 Super Course still has the sticker on the backside of the seat tube, up near the seat cluster. It is a bit nostalgic for me to look at it and remember how ineffective it was against theft problems. At least they were trying......
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Old 03-30-14, 09:32 PM   #18
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In California at least, only residents of the jurisdiction can be required to have one. So if you're not a resident, no problem. And that makes sense ... otherwise you'd need multiple licenses just to go from one city to another.
I'd be willing to wager a fair penny that none of these would stand up in court if they were challenged because registration of motor vehicles is a state-sanctioned activity. Thus, it seems to me not only illogical, but potentially illegal, for any municipality to treat one lawful vehicle different from another -- that they don't even have authority over in terms of registration.

This issue reminds me in some ways of the beach access brouhahas that you used to have in ritzy coastal areas where residents tried to keep non-residents off the beaches. These have been repeatedly challenged in court, such as recently in Connecticut. And basically, the ruling was while they could prohibit you from parking in a particular area, they had to offer you the right to buy beach passes just like everybody else and charge you a reasonable rate for one.
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Old 03-30-14, 09:43 PM   #19
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No, it's legal ... expressly permitted under the California Vehicle Code:

V C Section 39002 License Requirement

It's uncommon though ... probably because the limitations on how the money collected can be used.

http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d16_7/vc39001.htm
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Old 03-31-14, 12:10 AM   #20
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Small towns all over New England used to have bicycle license plates, and I collected dozens as souvenirs in the sixties and seventies. I don't think they ever enforced the rules strictly, and was never hassled about them when passing through.

These days it's passe, since the cost of administering the programs is higher than they're worth.

I keep hearing about threats to institute new registration rules, but I suspect the enforcement issues shut it down pretty quickly.
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Old 03-31-14, 08:38 AM   #21
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I'll register my bicycle when you pry it from my cold, dead hands
We also need to dial back the number of cogs, why does anyone need more than 6 gears?
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Old 04-04-14, 07:38 PM   #22
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We also need to dial back the number of cogs, why does anyone need more than 6 gears?
Okay, I'll admit: I didn't see that one coming!
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Old 04-05-14, 01:34 PM   #23
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Florida does not have any statute for licensing bicycles, although it has been tried and always fails. None of the cities, towns or townships that I know of require them either but that is not saying that there aren't some that do.
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Old 04-05-14, 01:36 PM   #24
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We also need to dial back the number of cogs, why does anyone need more than 6 gears?
So if you have more than six cogs, is that considered an assault bike?
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Old 04-05-14, 01:55 PM   #25
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What nobody has mentioned (unless I missed it) is that the bicycle licensing provisions of the past had nothing to do with identifying bad or illegal riding on public roads. It was intended for children and youth segments, and was mainly to recover and return lost and/or bicycles, along with recovered stolen ones (usually found abandoned after they served the one way ride purpose.

In some towns they also linked the plate to a safety education or awareness campaign, with the idea being that having a plate like grown ups' vehicles might encourage children to ride more responsibly.

Times and life were different 50-70 years ago, than they are now.
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