Great news from the DC DMV:
DC Bicycle Registration Law to be Discontinued
Bicyclists Encouraged to Register with National Bike Registry
Media Contact: Karyn Le Blanc at (202) 671-3490
(Washington, DC) The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) announce a major change in DC bicycle registration law.
Beginning June 1, 2008 bicycle registration is no longer required by law in the District of Columbia. Subsequently, registration will no longer be available at any District police or fire station as of this date.
DDOT and MPD now encourage citizens to register their bicycles with the National Bicycle Registry (NBR). NBR is a service that allows users to register their bicycle by serial number in a national database.
Accessible by law enforcement anywhere in the United States, NBR makes it easier and faster for police officers to identify and prove ownership of stolen bicycles and return them to their rightful owners.
â€œUsing the National Bicycle Registry will help streamline bicycle registration for District residents and provide for an easier registration process be it online, by telephone, or by mail,â€ said Emeka Moneme, Director of DDOT.
â€œEach year, over a million bikes are stolen. Most are left unclaimed and cannot be returned to their owners because the bicycles have no label or identification. It is simple to put an NBR label on the bike to register it, and we want to encourage all of our residents to do it,â€ said Chief Lanier.
To register a bicycle with NBR residents may do any of the following:
* purchase a NBR registration kit for $10 at area bicycle shops
* register bikes and find additional information online at www.nationalbikeregistry.com
* call 1-800-848-BIKE
For additional information contact DDOTâ€™s Bicycle Program Office at (202) 671-0681.
Truth be told, I’ve been riding around Washington, DC on my bicycle for the last six years illegally. After hearing only horror stories from friends dealing with DC’s antiquated registration system, I boldly decided to never register my bike. There was a great City Paper article on how the registration program basically allowed DC police to pull over ANY bicyclist to check the status of their bicycle’s registration, and if the bike was not registered, it was confiscated by the police. The unfortunate result was that this law was used disproportionately to arrest young black youth suspected of crime instead of going after the actual bicycle thieves (I’ve had 3 bikes stolen in the last few years!). I actually read over the current bicycle laws over the weekend and have some interesting findings, but I will save them for when the current laws are updated.
NBC 4 has an article on this topic, so does the Washington, DC Express newspaper, where I left a brief comment. I’ll also have more bicycling videos posted here shortly.