Unfortunately, the Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) specifically grants the power to local authorities to further regulate bicycles in §28-627 , including allowing them to require “…the registration and licensing of bicycles”.
So does your city require registration? What about the city you’re riding through? Who knows? You would have to comb through every city’s ordinances, and even then you might find that things aren’t as they seem 🙂
Phoenix’s ordinances are happily all online (see Chapter 36, Article IX). It that link doesn’t work, try phoenix.gov/citygovernment/codes/citycodes/ and look for “Phoenix Municipal Code”. It is currently (as of 2013 anyway) served up at phoenix.municipal.codes (check out chapter 36, vehicles and traffic), and no longer municode.com
Sec. 36-98. License requirement.
Every owner of a bicycle, before the same shall be operated on any of the streets, alleys or public highways in the City, shall obtain a license from the Division of Licenses.
Sec. 36-101. License fee.
For each license required by section 36-98, a charge of fifty cents shall be made.
Sec. 36-103. Number plates–Display.
Number plates on bicycles shall be permanently fastened to the bicycle so as to be clearly legible and readable.
At this point I’m getting pretty jazzed up that i can get a license plate for my bike, and for only 50 cents!
Now, I should say that I have never heard or seen one of these bicycle license plate, nor have i ever heard of not having one causing a problem — but hey, if i can avoid trouble for the cost of 50 cents, I’m gonna do it! Alas it was not to be, after making two calls (June 2, 2009) I gave up
#1: The Licensing Division. The guy I spoke with said there is no such thing, and if there were such a thing, this would be the right place. He wasn’t interested in any further discussion.
#2: Phx Police “info line”. I spoke with Officer Clack. He said he never heard of such a thing, and that “we (the police) would never ask for it”. He figures there are a lot of old laws on the books, and that I shouldn’t worry about it.
Similar laws are on the books of probably every city in Arizona. Feel free to leave your experiences with bicycle license plates.