Mandatory Bike Licensing – Bike Cleveland Position Statement

Bike Cleveland congratulates the City of Cleveland for amending their local ordinances so that bike licensing is no longer mandatory. Below is our position statement on the importance for cities to follow the example of Cleveland and remove local requirements for cyclists to license their bikes.

Position Statement: Bike Licensing and Mandatory Registration

The Board of Directors of Bike Cleveland opposes the requirement for bike licensing or mandatory registration atthe municipal level. We believe a voluntary registration program is preferable for a number of reasons.

Bike licensing and mandatory registration present a barrier to entry for cyclists, many of whom – children, for example, or low-income populations – may find the process particularly onerous. Our position is that communities that wish to be sustainable and healthy should not develop obstacles to this healthy and low-cost form of transportation.

In addition, studies have shown that bike licensing and registration programs are costly to administer and often ineffective*. While registration may be helpful to law enforcement officials in recovering stolen bicycles, a voluntary registration program – like the low-cost, National Bike Registry – can help promote recovery without suppressing sustainable transportation decisions, and can help streamline the recovery by standardizing the process across communities and states.

Finally, Bike Cleveland has concerns that bike licensing and mandatory registration requirements can open the door to racial profiling.

* http://justbrakes.co/news/2012/01/14/report-puts-brakes-on-bicycle-licensing/

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