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DC Ending Mandatory Bike Registration

As of next week, the District government will no longer require people to register their bikes, and the police won't be authorized to stop a bicyclist for the sole purpose of checking the registration.

But police and the District Department of Transportation are encouraging riders to voluntarily sign up with the National Bike Registry as an anti-theft measure.

The end of mandatory registration follows amendments to the city's bicycle law. (This was the old law: "No person shall operate a bicycle in the District unless the bicycle has been validly registered as provided ... and bears a serial number, a valid registration tag, and valid registration plate ...; or unless it is validly registered in another jurisdiction, when required by applicable law of such jurisdiction, and bears readily visible evidence of being registered.")

If your bike is registered by serial number in the national database, the police can check a recovered bike to determine ownership. Bike shops sell registration kits, but owners also can register online at www.nationalbikeregistry.com.

There's a fee:
-- $10 for 10 years of coverage for an individual bike
-- $25 for 30 years, and the registration is transferable to a new bike.
-- $25 for a 10-year registration of up to five bikes at a single address. (A family registration.)

Phone contacts:
-- National Bike Registry, 800-848-BIKE
-- DDOT's Bicycle Program Office, 202-671-0681

By Robert Thomson  |  May 29, 2008; 11:58 AM ET
Categories:  Biking  
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Comments

So DC police were stopping bicyclists to check their papers, but don't have the resources to stop them for violating traffic laws? Nice.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 29, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Were the cops actually ever checking papers? Of all the laws that aren't enforced, this must be at the top of the list. Good for DC for figuring out that maybe 3 really uptight AU/GW/GU students registered their bikes each year and no one else did, making it a waste of money/time.

Posted by: ah | May 29, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Cops are too busy pulling over all the cars who break traffic laws to pull over the few cyclists who do.

Posted by: DC | May 29, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

I realize this question is largely academic at this point, but I'm curious--the old law said "or unless it is validly registered in another jurisdiction, when required by applicable law of such jurisdiction, and bears readily visible evidence of being registered." Didn't that basically render it unenforceable? All the cyclist had to do was say "I live in Virginia" (since Virginia doesn't require registration) and that ought to have been the end of it.

Posted by: Rich | May 29, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

"Cops are too busy pulling over all the cars who break traffic laws to pull over the few cyclists who do."

What a bunch of malarkey!

Actually the cops are too busy napping or feeling up their girlfriends in the backseat while "operating" spedd cameras on commuter routes.

As for the "few cyclists who break traffic laws", I suppose you've never noticed theclowns on bikes who ride on the sidewalks downtown, dangerously weave through traffic, and blow through red lights and stop signs - all while they demand that drivers "share the road". But I suppose that's alright because "bikes don't use foreign oil".

What a bunch of self-rightoeus hypocrites!

Posted by: ceefer66 | May 30, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

You forgot about eating donuts.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 30, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

The FEW cyclists who violate traffic laws? The FEW cyclists? You have to be kidding.

Posted by: stuckman | May 30, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I think the real reason for this law, and perhaps many like it, was to give police a reason to stop people when they really didn't have a reason to stop them.

Posted by: Tim in Kalorama | May 30, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

It would be nice to have police stop someone...

Posted by: Anonymous | May 30, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Rich -- to answer your question, I think the answer is "no", that that exception means only if you have actually registered it pursuant to another state's requirement. If not, then you have to register it to ride it in DC, even if you live in Virginia. Silly, yes.

Posted by: ah | May 30, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Bicyclists have as much right to the road as you fuel hogs. Why don't you go fight in Iraq for your ration of oil? This bicyclist hasn't used five gallons this year.

Posted by: Critical Mass Rocks | June 1, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Traffic laws don't apply to bicyclists because we are special and everyone else is fascists

Posted by: Anonymous | June 2, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

"Bicyclists have as much right to the road as you fuel hogs."

AND as much responsibility to follow the rules and obey the law. With rights come responsibilities. It's part of being a grown-up.

BTW, no one has the "right" to use the road. Road use is a priviledge.

"Why don't you go fight in Iraq for your ration of oil?"

Now we KNOW you don't know what you're talking about. A uninformed loudmouth like you has GOT to be a student instead of a taxpayer. And I'll bet you're s self-professed "environmentalist", too.

"This bicyclist hasn't used five gallons this year."

What do you think the generators to produce the electricity to power the computer you're using to post that nonsense is running on? And you think the machinery to build your bike runs on air? Like Bugs Bunny would say "what a maroon!"

Like I said, car-haters rarely know what they're talking about.

Posted by: ceefer66 | June 2, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

The law was used in open air drug markets. MPD could stop someone suspected of selling drugs via their bike and repossess it if it was not registered. Many complaints resulted, including an official report from the Office of Police Complaints. Hence, the change in law.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 2, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Bicycles should be prohibited with one exception: you can own one if you use it to generate all of the electricity for your home, including for heat and hot water.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 2, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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