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Bike License

Old 07-12-18, 05:45 PM
  #1  
fritz1255
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Bike License

The focus of this thread is a little different than other "license" threads, but this is the only forum that I can see where this goes.
Several municipalities require that bikes have a license sort of like the license plate on a car. Not for the rider but the bike itself. At least one city where I lived required it on every new bike sold. I don't remember what the justification was, but I assume it's mostly a revenue generation for the city. Does anybody know of any other reason why a bike would need a license?
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Old 07-13-18, 09:50 AM
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Theft.
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Old 07-13-18, 10:26 AM
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Milton Keynes
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What you're referring to is more registration than licensing. You go and register the bike, the police keeps the serial number on file, and then if it gets stolen they know what the serial number and/or registration number is. If it turns up somewhere the number can be checked and it will show as being reported stolen. Really I don't see why they have laws requiring registration like that, since it's easy enough for a bike owner to write down the serial number and keep it in a safe place, then give that number to the police if the bike is stolen. But I suppose with registration if they find your bike laying out somewhere they can either call or stop by your residence and see if you know why your bike was abandoned somewhere, or if it was stolen it would be easier to get it back to you. Many departments often collect hundreds of bicycles every year to be sold at auction when no owner comes forward to claim them.
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Old 07-15-18, 09:43 AM
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Primarily to help prevent theft and, when that fails, to aid in recovery of a stolen cycle.


In many communities it is voluntary. If the serial number is on file with the police department there is little lag between the police finding the stolen bike and returning it to the owner. Many stolen bikes are stolen for joy rides and then abandoned. When I lived in Long Beach, CA, I registered my bike the day it arrived with the rest of my household goods. A week later it was stolen from the back yard. It was recovered three years later and returned to me because I had registered it. I was told that return would have been unlikely based only on the police report even when the bike serial number is included in that report.


The cost of the registration most likely only helps defray the cost of doing it. But, maybe cities like New Orleans (see a recent thread about a cyclist who was ticketed there for not having registered his bicycle, among other charges) see such registrations as a veritable gold mine.
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Old 07-16-18, 12:03 PM
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In my state (Hawaii) registration is mandatory state-wide for any bicycle with > 20" wheel size.. It acts as sort of a "title" and at least in theory facilitates ownership transfers (seller has to sign over the registration and buyer has to take it to a satellite city hall, which is our version of the DMV). The cost is pretty nominal and probably doesn't cover the cost of providing the service.

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Old 07-16-18, 08:37 PM
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The city where I live in California no longer registers bikes because the revenue collected didn't cover the registration. When I was a young adult the city I lived in at the time had bike shops selling the bike license. So I had my bike licensed or registered at that time. But then I moved and gave the bike away and I didn't bother after that with licenses. Seriously if they want to license or register bicycles they need the Department of Unmotorized Vehicles so we adults can do everything on line.
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Old 07-19-18, 01:25 AM
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Originally Posted by fritz1255 View Post
The focus of this thread is a little different than other "license" threads, but this is the only forum that I can see where this goes.
Several municipalities require that bikes have a license sort of like the license plate on a car. Not for the rider but the bike itself. At least one city where I lived required it on every new bike sold. I don't remember what the justification was, but I assume it's mostly a revenue generation for the city. Does anybody know of any other reason why a bike would need a license?
Singapore, a small island nation in SEAsia, used to require registration of all bicycles until some 40odd yrs ago. Bikes had a rego plate bolted on. They stopped sometime 1970s.

However late last year 2017 they've brought back mandatory registration of all eBikes.

Think they've had antisocial hoons on eBikes & also flouting of power cap laws - either by lying about motor rating &/or aftermarket modification.
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