San Diego Repeals Bicycle License Law

The City of San Diego City Council unanimously voted to repeal their bicycle license registration ordinance last month. San Diego is following in a long line of cities that have chosen to abandon a requirement that served little purpose other than to discourage bicycling.

While bike license registration was meant to provide police with a bicycle registry for returning stolen bikes, in practice, participation has never been high. Instead, police have sometimes used the licensing requirement as a catch-all for harassing bicyclists.  What’s more, the fees brought in for licensing don’t even pay for the staff time needed to process the submitted forms. In the City of San Diego, the annual revenue brought in from bicycle licensing was a whopping $260.

Removal of mandatory registration requirements is one of those small but necessary steps needed to encourage bicycling in California.  We applaud the City of San Diego’s recent action, and hope their good example spreads to the California cities that have yet to ditch their license registration requirement.