Bicycle Registration & Safety

Bicycle Registration

The San Marino Police Department provides a voluntary program for bicycle registration since the State of California no longer has a bicycle registration program.  The City is providing this service to the community as part of our crime reduction initiatives. 

Through partnership with our schools, businesses, and individual community members, this program raises awareness of bicycle thefts and reduces the number of stolen and unidentified bicycles throughout San Marino.

Why register my bicycle?

Registering your bicycle is the best way to record all the critical information necessary to help law enforcement investigate the loss of your bicycle should it become lost or stolen.  Law enforcement can quickly access your bicycle’s identifying information and enter those details into a statewide stolen property database.  This information is not shared outside of law enforcement agencies and is used strictly for tracking lost or stolen property.

Lost or stolen bicycles that are registered through this program have a greater chance of being recovered and returned to their rightful owner.

Bicycle registration also aids in the identification of the bicycle owner during collision investigations.  Many bicyclist do not carry identification while riding, which is especially true for children.  If your family’s bicycles are registered, parents and family members listed on the registration can be contacted quickly.

How do I register my bicycle?

Complete the online bicycle registration   ( form with the following information:

  • Manufacturer
  • Model
  • Serial Number
  • Color(s)
  • Men’s or Women’s
  • Frame Size
  • Number of Speeds
  • Value
  • Contact information

 Where is my bicycle’s serial number?

Bicycle serial number locations can vary by manufacturer but can be commonly located in the following areas:

  • Underside of the crank
  • Top of crank
  • Headset (near handle bars)
  • Rear Stays
  • Seat downtube next to crank

What happens when a bicycle is stolen?

Bicycle thefts generally occur in areas that are unsecured or have poor lighting during darkness, such as a porch, driveway, open garage, or public sidewalk.  Although the City of San Marino is among the safest cities in the area, valuable property left in plain view is vulnerable to potential thieves.

Once a bicycle is stolen, the victim should immediately report it to local law enforcement.  The timeliness and accuracy of the identifying information is critical to the investigation.  Most criminals that steal a bicycle will flee the area with the stolen property as quickly as possible, and find a person to sell the bicycle to for a quick profit.  It is recommended that you also consider speaking to neighbors, people in the area, and even check online marketplace sites (Craigslist, OfferUp, etc.) where bicycles are commonly bought and sold.  We have found that criminals will post the stolen property for sell on these sites within minutes of the crime.

What do I do if my bicycle is stolen?

Be a good witness and try to write down any suspect or vehicle information you might have observed.  Call the San Marino Police Department at (626)300-0720 for a non-emergency report or if the theft occurred on an unknown date and time.  If you are reporting a crime in-progress, dial 9-1-1.  Make sure to also provide the police with any surveillance video or photos you have of a potential suspect(s). 

Tips on bicycle theft prevention

  • Always lock your bicycle, even if you’re leaving it for just a minute
  • Always lock your bicycle’s frame and wheels
  • Lock your bicycle even when keeping it in a garage, porch, or patio
  • Remove all detachable items like lights, bags, and quick release parts
  • Lock your bicycle to a bike rack, or firmly affixed (bolted or cemented down) object
  • Purchase the best quality lock you can afford. U-locks are generally very strong and some come with a warranty
  • Consider purchasing a U-lock with a flat or disc shaped key. The other style cylindrical keyed locks tend to be easily picked or defeated

 Key or Combination Lock?

Choose the lock type that best matches your habits or preference.  Some people prefer keyed locks because they are prone to forgetting a combination.  However, keys can be lost or misplaced.

Bicycle Riding Safety Tips

  • Wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet
  • Adjust your bicycle seat and handle bars to fit
  • Make sure brakes are functioning, handle bars are tightly fastened, and tires properly


  • Wear clothing that helps you be seen any time of day
  • Utilize lighting and reflectors during darkness for increased visibility
  • Avoid road hazards or congested areas

Rules of the Road

  • Ride with the flow of traffic and on the right hand side of the road
  • Obey all traffic laws
  • Yield to traffic when appropriate
  • Anticipate other motorists movements
  • Stay alert and make sure that headphones or music doesn’t prevent you from

hearing what is going on around you

  • Always look before proceeding or turning
  • Watch for parked cars and people opening their doors

Local Ordinance and State Law

San Marino City Code 15.11.02 A. states, “No person shall operate any bicycle or wheeled toy upon any sidewalk in a business district or adjacent to any place of public assembly.”  Additionally, bicyclist should also refer to California Vehicle Code 21202, which outlines the operation of bicycles and rules of the road.

Parents are strongly encouraged to discuss routes with their children that do not require them to utilize sidewalks in restricted areas.  Conversely, riding a bicycle on the street requires maturity and quick decision making, so parents should make sure their child is ready for this responsibility.

Bicycle Registration & Safety

take action