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Bicycle Registration in the District of Columbia

girl on a bikeBicycle Registration FAQs

Is bicycle registration required in the District of Columbia?

As of June 1, 2008, bicycle registration is no longer required in the District of Columbia.  However, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) strongly encourage residents to register their bicycles with the National Bicycle Registry (NBR).

What is the National Bicycle Registry (NBR)?

NBR is a service that allows you to register your bicycle by serial number in a national database. If your bike is ever stolen, it can be identified and you can prove ownership.  Law enforcement anywhere can access this database.  NBR also guarantees your registration. If your bike is stolen and not recovered by police within 6 months, NBR will register your next bike for free and the stolen bike information will remain in the database until the bike is recovered no matter how long it takes.

Where can I register my bicycle?

NBR registration kits can be purchased at area bicycle shops.  You can also register your bike online at or by calling 1-800-848-BIKE.  Please note:  MPD no longer registers bicycles at any District police station.

Is there a cost to register my bicycle with NBR?

Three different registration options are available through NBR:

  • $10 (single bicycle)  – 10 years of coverage for an individual bike
  • $25 (single bicycle) – 30 year registration, transferable when you replace your bike
  • $25 (family registration) – 10 year registration for up to 5 bicycles located at a single address

What should I do if my bike is stolen?

As always, you should immediately file a police report with MPD.  Alert them to the fact that your bicycle is registered in the NBR database and provide them with the manufacture’s serial number.  MPD will then be able to search for and attempt to recover the stolen bicycle.

Can I register my bicycle with NBR after it has been stolen?

Yes, you can register your bicycle with NBR after it has been stolen.  For a $1 fee, your stolen bicycle with remain in the NBR database for 6 months, allowing law enforcement personnel access to the information in case it is recovered. 

Can I be stopped by MPD and asked to present my bicycle registration?

MPD officers are no longer authorized to stop bicyclists for the sole reason of checking for bicycle registration.

Where can I find additional information about NBR?

Additional information about NBR can be found on their website at or by calling 1-800-848-BIKE.  You can also contact DDOT’s Bicycle Program office at 671-0681.

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