The Los Angeles City Council voted Friday to explore creating a bicycle registration program after a previous one was repealed because it had become ineffective.

A motion introduced by Councilman Bob Blumenfield and approved on a 12-0 vote directs the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles Department of Transportation to develop recommendations on starting a new registration program.

All new bicycles sold in California must currently be marked with a unique serial number, the motion says, and cities may adopt bicycle registration ordinances, which must comply with the California Vehicle Code. But the motion also says registration programs are difficult to administer, especially for large cities.

In 2009, the city repealed its bicycle registration program because very few bicycles were registered, few LAPD divisions processed license applications, and information such as bicycle serial numbers was not accessible to officers investigating bicycle “chop shops” or other collections of suspected stolen bicycles, the motion says.

The motion notes that there are several online bicycle registries, including Bike Index, the National Bike Registry, and Project 529, which allow people to register their bicycles, including serial numbers, and that in some cases their databases may be accessed by law enforcement.

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