On January 5th 2021, the City of Madison repealed their long-standing mandatory bicycle registration requirement. As of that date, you are no longer required to register your bicycle(s) with the City and the City is no longer accepting new bicycle registrations. Our bicycle registration database will be active for users to search and update their own registrations until the last current registrations expire on May 15, 2024. At that time, the database will be archived. It will still be available for searching any previous registrations for the foreseeable future.
The City still believes that there is value in registering bicycles, but our registration program was very limited in its reach. Registering your bicycle with a national bicycle registration database greatly increases the chances of recovering your bicycle if it goes missing. There are two national bicycle registration programs, and we are in the process of choosing which of those two to partner with.
Once we have chosen one of those programs, we will be promoting that option to our constituents. In the meantime, here are links to the websites for each of those programs. Registering your bicycle is free, but if you would like to have a registration decal for your bicycle, you may purchase one from these companies after you register with them.
Please have the following information ready to be able to complete the bicycle registration form.
- Renewing an Expired Registration: Enter the old bicycle registration number in the box provided (it begins with a letter, then five numbers).
- Serial Number: This is the most important identifying feature of your bicycle. It must be included for best results if your bicycle is stolen. This number is unique to the bicycle and is found on the bicycle's frame. See diagram to right for the most common serial number locations.
- Manufacturer: This name should be on the front of the bicycle's head tube. Examples are Schwinn, GT, Huffy, Trek.
- Model: This is the secondary name for the bicycle. Examples include Varsity, Mojave, Gulch, Ironman, 730.
- Frame Type: Check the frame type. Note: Mountain bike and BMX are not frame types but descriptions of the type of bicycle. See Bicycle Type.
- Bicycle Type: Indicate the type of bicycle. If you are unsure, leave blank.
- Wheel Size: Indicated on the sidewall of the tire. An example of a wheel size on the tire is 27 x 1.25". Select 27 as the wheel size in this case. Mountain bikes typically have 26 inch tires, hybrids and road bikes have 700c.
- Other Description: Optional. Indicate any unique identifying features such as baskets or decals.
- Number of Speeds: Indicate number of speeds or gears on your bicycle. To find how many speeds your bicycle is, multiply the number of chainrings (by your pedals) by the number of cogs on your rear wheel. Common speeds include 16 (2 x 8) and 27 (3 x 9).
- Frame Size: See diagram above for more details. Measure from the top of the seat tube (not the seat or seat post) to the center of the bottom bracket (crank). Round to the nearest half-inch or centimeter. Frame sizes for an adult are typically between 14 and 23 inches, or 35 and 60 centimeters.
- Frame Size Measurement Units: Select Centimeters or Inches
- First and Second Frame Color: If the bicycle has one predominant color, write that color under "First Color" and leave "Second Frame Color" blank. If the bicycle has two colors, write the most predominant as the "First Frame Color" and the secondary color as the "Second Frame Color".