Protecting Your Bike: Registration

(This page was updated as best as possible on 1/11/2019).

One of the ways that you can make sure your bike is protected from thieves is bicycle registration. Many communities will allow you to register your bike, which makes it much easier to recover in case it is stolen. Trust me, I wish I'd done this before my last bike got ripped off.

In general, it's a good idea to record the serial number of your bicycle and keep it with the sales receipt and a photograph of the bike. Your serial number can usually be found on the bottom bracket under the crankshaft of your bike. Also, engraving your name and phone number or other information into your bike will be a good deterrent. And always lock your bike, making sure to get the frame and wheels locked to the bike rack or whatever you find to lock it up.

On a national level, you can register your bicycle with the National Bike Registry. This is good for folks in Columbus, Worthington, and other communities that do not have a bike registration program. The Franklin County Sheriff's office is listed on their website as one of the agencies working with the NBR.

Bexley: Bexley residents may obtain a Bexley Bicycle License at the Bexley Police Department Headquarters located behind City Hall. The fee is $1.00. You must bring the bike with you so the Police Department can obtain the make, model, color, and serial number.

Columbus: Columbus has a nifty program called Bug Your Bike. Registering your bike gives you a sticker with an RFID chip that will allow your bike to be returned if found by CPD, COTA, or OSU police.

Delaware: From the Delaware web site:
The police department encourages community residents to register the bicycles with the Division of Police. Should a bicycle be lost or stolen, the police than have a means to identify the owner of the bicycle and return the bicycle once it is recovered. Registration of the bike can be done by downloading the form here or by obtaining a registration form at the Police Department. There is a $2 fee to register your bicycle which is valid for three years. A registration sticker will be issued for each bicycle registered.
Dublin: From the Dublin web site:
Bicycle registration is available through the City of Dublin Division of Police. If your bicycle is lost or stolen, bike registration could help you reunite with your bicycle. Registration can be completed in person at the Justice Center, 6565 Commerce Parkway, or at community events including the Dublin Irish Festival.
Gahanna: Check out this website where many municipalities' codes are stored and displayed for the public. For the whole picture, I recommend you do a search for "bicycle registration" at the top under "Quick Search." I'll sum up here, as Gahanna seems pretty strict about things: you apparently HAVE to have a license to operate a bike in Gahanna. Licenses are only a buck, and you can pick them up at the Police station after filling out a form there.

Also, the Gahanna Police are listed as one of the agencies working with the National Bike Registry.

Hilliard: Registration is done in person at the Hilliard Police Department and is free of charge to Hilliard school district residents. Residents should present a complete description of the bicycle including the make, model, serial number, tire size, colors, any special markings or equipment, and whether it is a boy or girl’s bike. The registration form also requests the owner’s name, birthday, address and telephone number. A registration sticker will be issued for each bicycle registered.

Obetz: No information available online. I have contacted the Obetz police for information and will update this as soon as possible! Also, the Obetz Police are listed as one of the agencies working with the National Bike Registry.

Ohio State University: OSU is part of the same Bug Your Bike program that Columbus offers. Their website is not the same, however.

Pickerington: Pickerington residents can apply for their bicycle licenses at the Police Station. Commander Ralph Portier of the Pickerington Police was kind enough to share the registration form with me so that you can fill it out in advance of you going to the station!

Reynoldsburg: From the Reynoldsburg web site:
Reynoldsburg City Ordinance requires bicycles to be licensed RCC 373.14. Licenses are 50 cents each and are good for as long as the person owns the bicycle. The license should be displayed on the frame of the bicycle. Licenses can be purchased at the Reynoldsburg Public Safety Building located at 7240 E. Main Street, Reynoldsburg, Ohio.
Upper Arlington: Bike licenses in UA can be obtained from the Finance department at a cost of $1.00. The license is issued at the time the registration is filled out. The address and phone number for the Finance Department of Upper Arlington is 3600 Tremont Road, Upper Arlington, OH 43221, 614-583-5280.

Westerville: Westerville's bike registration program is on the web here.

Worthington: Worthington's bike registration program is also on the web, here.


  1. I used a lock and cable for years. Recently I took heart to the concept of using two locks, a U-lock and the cable. I have also registered my bike with the National Bike Registry. $10 for 10 years, its good insurance. Another way to protect/recover your bike is to slip a piece of paper taped inside your headset or seat post identifying your bike as being stolen with your personal info on it. I have another inside the cover on my bar-ends just in case I catch some idiot trying to steal it and coming across that the bike belongs to him. Calling the Police and letting them solve that one.

  2. My pleasure, James. This article is somewhat dated and things may have changed in the various municipalities in the area. I'd check with local government to see what's shaking out with this.

  3. Columbus DOES have a program:

    1. Thanks! Glad things have changed in the last seven years!


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