Increase the chance your bicycle will be returned if lost or stolen by registering your property with the City of Columbus.
, by phone or in person by providing your contact information along with distinguishing characteristics of your bicycle. You will be provided with a free RFID chip to install on your bicycle that can be scanned by partnering organizations to link your property back to you.
Whether a bicycle is recovered by the City of Columbus, The Ohio State University, or COTA, this unified system will help lost bicycles find their way home.
1. Register online
2. Call 645-8366 to register by phone and have materials mailed to your home address.
3. Select community events including the Mayor's Twilight Ride and where Pedal Instead is available.
1. Clear surface with alcohol prep pad.
2. Remove red tape from chip.
3. Press onto the frame of the bicycle in one of the two approved locations indicated. Bugs applied in any other area will be ineffective. Also remember to avoid covering the bikes serial number during application.
Theft Prevention Tips
Lock your bicycle to a bike rack whenever possible. Small trees, aluminum and wooded posts or chain link fences can easily be cut. The City of Columbus offers a variety of secure bicycle parking options:
: Typically is a standard hitching post, inverted-U or other design often found along sidewalks.
: A series of bike racks under a roof structure. These amenities also commonly offer features such as maps, repair tools and vegetated green roofs.
: A series of bike racks in a portion of the street protected by posts, rubber blocks and markings.
: An enclosed box in which a bicycle may be secured by a user-supplied lock. To suggest additional public bike parking locations call 645-3111 or visit 311.columbus.gov.
Use a U-lock together with a cable lock around both wheels for the best protection. Chain or cable locks alone are easier to cut.
Secure your bicycle in a visible and well-lit area and avoid keeping bicycles outside overnight.
Once your bicycle is locked, remove any valuable/detachable items (light, helmets, odometers).
If the bicycle is being stored in a garage, ensure that the garage is closed when not in use.
Engrave, paint or otherwise personalize your bicycle in discrete locations (below seat or on handle bars).
Take a picture of your bicycle and keep it for your records.
What to do if your bicycle is lost or stolen
1. Have your bicycle information ready (i.e. make, model, color, serial number)
2. File a report with the Columbus Division of Police online at
3. You will be contacted if your bicycle is recovered by a Bug Your Bike partner organization.