bill sponsored by NC House Representative Jeffrey Elmore (representing Alexander and Wilkes Counties) would require all bicycles operated by persons age 16 and over to be registered with the state DMV and equipped with a bicycle-specific license plate for an annual fee of ten dollars per bicycle.

https://www.ncleg.gov/Sessions/2019/Bills/House/PDF/H157v0.pdf

Although the suggested purpose of the bill is to raise money for bicycle projects, bicyclist advocates around the state were immediately critical of the proposal. Terry Lansdell, executive director of BikeWalk NC, pointed out that such programs usually lose money and create administrative headaches. “The bike registration fees don’t cover the costs of the registration process. It would overtax and overburden the DMV at this point,” Lansdell explained.

Enforcement of mandatory bicycle registration laws in other parts of the country has drawn criticism for targeting racial minorities and low-income communities, often as a pretext for searches and interrogations, and for impounding hundreds of bicycles often belonging to people with no alternative means of transportation.

The lack of positive revenue and problems with enforcement have resulted in abandonment of mandatory registration programs in most places they have been tried. [See “Why Bicycle Licensing (Almost) Never Works.”]

BikeWalk NC members are initiating dialog with members of the NC legislature to discuss this bill and alternative ways to increase revenue and promote public safety.  BikeWalk NC will track this bill and provide updates as things evolve.

For more historical information about bicycle registration and licensing, and preferred alternatives, see

Bicycling: Privilege or Right?

Bicyclist Licensing

Why Don’t You Need a Bicycle License? 

Why Bicycle Licensing (Almost) Never Works

Recent Story on H157

NCDOT’s Bicycle & Pedestrian Program promotes physical and environmental health, supports tourism and local economies


Monday, February 11, 2019 at Hickory Tavern

Hanna Cockburn, Director of NCDOT’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Division, joins us for an overview and update of North Carolina’s bicycle program, Established in 1974 and the first of its kind in the nation, the NCDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Division:

  • Integrates bicycle and pedestrian safety as well as mobility and accessibility into North Carolina’s overall transportation system
  • Maintains a network of more than 3,000 miles of state and regional bicycle routes
  • Educates citizens of all ages through statewide safety campaigns, such as Watch for Me NC, and promotes biking and walking to and from school through Safe Routes to Schools

Come hear the latest!

We meet at 6:00 to eat, and the meeting will start around 7:00. NCBC meetings are open to the public.

About Hanna Cockburn:   Hanna has practiced transportation and land use planning in the public sector in North Carolina since 1998.  She joined NCDOT in February 2018 as the Director of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Division.  Last month, Hanna was appointed Interim Director of the Public Transportation Division..  Hanna holds a Bachelor of Arts from Cornell College and a Master of Arts in Urban and Regional Planning from Minnesota State University. She is a member of the American Planning Association, the American Institute of Certified Planners and a 2015 Local Government Fellow. She serves as the Vice President for Professional Development for the North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association and serves on both the AASHTO Council on Active Transportation and Technical Committee on Non-Motorized Transportation.