Monday night in special session the Santa Monica City Council voted unanimously to eliminate mandatory bike licenses in the City of Santa Monica. The motion passed will eliminate the mandatory portion of the bicycle license ordinance while the city will continue to maintain the data base in a voluntary program. The program will continue at no cost on a voluntary basis as the issue is explored further. We still invite cyclist to send their thoughts on this issue to the City Council and in comments here. You can watch the meeting on the embedded video. It is item 7B and starts at aprox. 14:30. (note that it will take a minute to load with no apparent status bar)
Link here if you want to stream video on line, choose item 7B from the drop down menu.
Ted Rogers from Biking In LA wrote an open letter to the council outlining his opinion on this issue and overall bike friendliness in Santa Monica. It’s a good well articulated read, you can find it here. More informative posts on this issue can be found on GaryRidesBikes and BikesideLA.
So for now Santa Monica residents have the option to register their bikes for free while the city explores alternate plans for a possible future program.
Listed here are links to much better options for Bike Registry Database Programs, some free, some with a fee.
If your bike is stolen you can register it at Stolen Bike Registry
No matter whether you opt to register your bike or not it is recommended that you note the serial numbers of all your bikes along with the make, model and a basic description. Put this in your wallet or on your phone. If your bike is ever stolen the faster you can provide police with that information the better.
Theft recovery tip:
Take a picture of yourself with your bike, roll it up and either drop it down the seat tube, or remove the grips and place it in the handlebars or wrap it under the handlebar tape. These precautions help in identifying your bike if it is recovered or help in proving ownership if serial numbers/registry tags have been removed. And remember cable locks are easily cut, get yourself a good U-Lock and lock your bike properly.
Also see Kryptonite PDF on how to properly lock your bike.