A number of Kansas communities require that bicycles be registered and/or licensed. The specific requirements vary, but in general, the idea of registration is to make it easier for a bicycle to be identified and returned to its rightful owner if it is lost or stolen, or if it's involved in an accident.
The following are the requirements for a few communities. Please check your local city ordinances, or call your local police department for the details of your town.
- Augusta, KS Bicycle Licensing Requirements
- "Every person owning a bicycle propelled wholly or in part by muscular power, shall procure, and the safety department is hereby authorized and directed to issue, upon written application therefor, a bicycle license. Whenever any person shall acquire by purchase, gift or otherwise such a bicycle, such person shall, within five days after the acquisition of the same, upon written application therefor. apply for a license which shall be issued by the public safety department. The license shall entitle the licensee to operate the bicycles for which the licenses have been issued, upon all the streets, alleys and public ways, exclusive of sidewalks, in the city. The city shall provide a license plate or other physical indications of registration, together with registration cards having numbers stamped thereon in numerical order; such license plates or other physical evidence of registration shall be suitable for attachment upon the frames of the bicycles which shall be displayed on the bicycles at all times. The Department of Public Safety shall also keep a record of the issue of each license to whom issued, and the number thereof. It shall be unlawful to operate or use a bicycle without obtaining a license or registration."
- City Code 14-402, 14-403
- Arkansas City, KS Bicycle Licensing Requirements
- "All bicycles propelled wholly or in part by muscular power upon any of the streets, alleys, or public ways of the City, shall be licensed by the City. Each owner of a bicycle to be used upon the streets, alleys, or highways of the City shall register all bicycles within the City. Provided, however, nothing in this chapter shall be construed to be applicable to a bicycle being ridden through, to or from the City by nonresidents. "
- City Code, City Clerk 620-441-4409
- Belleville, KS Registration and plates
- Every bicycle shall be registered by the owner thereof annually on or before December 1st of each year, commencing December 1, 1948, with the chief of police, who shall furnish without charge to the owner a number plate to be attached to and displayed on the bicycle at all times. New number plates for lost or mutilated plates shall be furnished at cost.
- City Code 10.32.010
- Colby, KS Bicycle Registration
- "You may register your bicycle by bringing the bicycle down to the department at 225 N. Court. Be sure to bring the proper paperwork."
- Derby, KS Bicycle Registration and Licensing Requirements
- "It is unlawful for any resident to operate a bicycle within the jurisdictional boundaries of this city unless such bicycle is registered pursuant to this chapter and unless such bicycle properly displays a valid registration decal pursuant to this chapter. Any resident acquiring ownership of a bicycle shall have the bicycle registered pursuant to this chapter within fifteen days after the acquisition. To register a bicycle, the owner shall complete an application form and submit it either to a retailer or the police station, pay a registration fee established by resolution registration fee and submit the bicycle for a safety inspection. The registration decal shall be affixed to the bicycle in a conspicuous place on that part of the frame into which the seat is fitted."
- City Code 10.16
- Fort Scott, KS Bicycle Registration and Licensing Requirements
"No person shall operate or propel a bicycle upon any street in the city unless and until the bicycle has been registered with the chief of police, and has affixed to it an unexpired license; provided, however, that the owner of the bicycle shall have thirty days from effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter in which to register and obtain a license therefor. Bicycle licenses shall be procured from the chief of police. The city shall furnish to every owner whose bicycle is registered, one number plate or tag for each bicycle. The tag or plate shall be displayed on the bicycle to which it is assigned during the current registration year in such a manner as to be clearly visible from the rear of the bicycle. The annual license fee for a bicycle is two dollars for each calendar year, or part thereof." City Code 10.40
- Note: The Fort Scott bicycle licensing requirement was repealed in August 2012: Fort Scott Repeals Mandatory Bicycle Registration Law.
- Great Bend, KS Bicycle Registration and Licensing Requirements
- "It is unlawful for any person to operate a bicycle upon the streets of the city without having registered such bicycle and without having an unexpired license therefor. The bicycle shall be registered with, and such license shall be procured from, the police chief. The city shall furnish to every owner whose bicycle is registered one number plate or tag for each bicycle. Such plate or tag shall be displayed on the bicycle to which it is assigned during the current registration year. The annual license fee for each bicycle shall be one dollar for each calendar year. Any person violating any of the provisions of subsections A through C of this section shall, upon conviction thereof, be required to surrender his bicycle to the police chief for a period of one week."
- City Code 10.28.010
- Hays, KS Bicycle Licensing Requirements
- "No person shall ride or propel a bicycle upon any street or other public highway in the city or upon any part thereof without first having secured and attached to such bicycle a proper license tag as provided for in this article. Such license shall be valid as long as such bicycle is functional and operational. Application for a license to operate a bicycle shall be made to the police department upon a form to be approved by the city manager. The application shall be accompanied by a fee of $5.00 to be paid to the city police department upon the granting of a license. Upon receipt of such application form, the police department shall provide printed instruction and a proper tag which shall be immediately attached to the frame of the bicycle in a substantial manner. The removal of any such tag except by proper authority shall be a violation of this article."
- Hays City Code 62-189
- Iola, KS Bicycle Registration and Licensing Requirements
"It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a bicycle within the city, without having registered the bicycle and having an unexpired license therefor. Such registration shall be with, and license shall be procured from, the city chief of police. The city shall furnish to every owner whose bicycle shall be registered, one number plate or tag for each bicycle, and the tag or plate shall be displayed on the bicycle to which it is assigned during the current registration year in such a manner as to be clearly visible from the rear of such bicycle."
- City Code 90-142
- Note: The Iola bicycle licensing requirement was repealed in January 2013: Iola Repeals Mandatory Bicycle Registration Law.
- Lawrence, KS Bicycle Registration
- Bicycle registration is not mandatory in Lawrence, but "Owners may register their bicycles at the police department. Registration of bicycles helps police in locating the rightful owners of lost or stolen bicycles. There is a small fee for registration."
- More Info
- Leavenworth, KS Bicycle Registration
- Bicycle registration is not mandatory in Leavenworth, but "We strongly encourage citizens to register their bicycles with the department and contact us if they have lost it. Bicycles can be registered by contacting the Records Unit at (913) 651-2260. If the bicycle has been registered with us, chances are good that we can contact you first."
- More Info
- Marion, KS Bicycle Registration
- Marion's bicycle registration scheme is (apparently) optional, and at no cost. The Marion Bicycle Registration Form can be submitted to the Marion Police Department.
- Newton, KS Bicycle Registration
- Bicycle registration is not mandatory in Newton, but "In order to provide a means by which proof of the ownership of bicycles in the city can be established, and in order to expedite the return, upon recovery, of lost or stolen bicycles to their lawful owners, the city clerk shall provide a system by which residents of the city may register their ownership of such bicycles. All bicycles so registered shall be provided with a registration number, with the words "Newton, Kansas" to be applied to the frame."
- City Code 21-301
- Oswego, KS Bicycle Registration
- Bicycle registration is not mandatory in Oswego, but "The Oswego Police Department encourages all bicycle owners to register their bicycles with the department. If they are lost or stolen and later found, they can be returned to the proper owner."
- More Info
- Topeka, KS Bicycle Licensing Requirements
"It shall be unlawful for any person residing in the city to ride or use a bicycle without first obtaining a
license. The license shall be suitable for attachment to the bicycle as near to the top of the seat tube as possible,
facing the front wheel, and it shall also be the duty of the issuer to attach the license to the bicycle in such
manner as will prevent its removal. The issuer shall also provide and issue a registration certificate with numbers
corresponding with the numbers on the license." Bicycle licenses are issued at all Topeka Fire Stations, 7 days a week, from 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Bicycles must be present at the Fire Station in order for the license to be issued. There is no charge for this service.
- City Code (Sec. 142-676 thru 142-680)
- Note: The Topeka bicycle licensing requirement was repealed in February 2011. A bicycle license is no longer required in Topeka.
- Wichita, KS Bicycle Licensing Requirements
"Before operating a bicycle, a $7.50 license must be obtained and placed on the bicycle. No fee is charged to the physically incapacitated whose only means of transportation is a specially constructed bicycle. Licenses expire upon the transfer of ownership of any bicycle. The new owner has ten days to apply for a new license. Transfer of a bicycle within a family does not require a new license. Licenses or the frame serial numbers may not be removed or altered. Bicycle license's can be purchased from almost any of the major bicycle shops around Wichita. When you purchase a bike, they will offer to register the serial number and sell you a license. If you take your bike in at a later time, you will need a safety inspection at the time you register."
- Wichita Bicycle Ordinance
- Note: The Wichita bicycle licensing requirement was repealed in June 2010: Wichita Updates Their Bicycling Laws.
- Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
- "All bicycles parked on campus shall have a KSU bicycle permit displayed on the bicycle. A ticket will be issued to bikes without permits. Bicycle permits may be obtained at no cost from Parking Services in Edwards Hall. After working hours, permits may be obtained from campus police in Edwards Hall. The bicycle permit shall be attached to the center post of the bicycle frame, below the seat post, and be totally visible. Counterfeiting, altering, defacing, or transferring the permit to another bicycle or person and/or giving false information on application or in hearing is a violation of these regulations."
- Bicycle Guide and Regulations, Bicycle Registration Form
- Kansas Cycling Laws
- Topeka Cyclists: Is Your Bike Registered?
- Are Motorized Bicycles Street-Legal in Kansas?
- Kansas Bicycle Lawyers and Law Firms
- Bicycles in the Kansas Driving Handbook
- Bike Licensing and Registration from the Alliance for Biking & Walking
Note: Wichita license plate image is courtesy of the Kansas Historical Society.