« Newspaper Editors: Potholes, not Bicycles! | Main | Travel Show Networking brings dividends »

February 14, 2005

Street Legal in Costa Mesa

When I finally, at long last, get around to checking out what the Municipal Code in my new hometown has to say about bicycling what do I discover?

Like most cities a license is required if you live in town:

Sec. 4-3. Bicycle license required.

No person residing in the City of Costa Mesa shall ride or propel any bicycle upon a public street, sidewalk, alley, bicycle, lane, path, or any public property, or have in his possession any bicycle which has not been licensed or which does not bear a bicycle license plate as required by the provisions of this chapter.
(Ord. No. 77-10, § 2, 3-21-77)

And, further more!

Sec. 4-4. Bicycle registration card; bicycle license plate issuance.

At the time that any person licenses a bicycle in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, the licensing agency or agent shall provide said person with a bicycle registration card bearing the owner's name, address, telephone number, bicycle license plate number, the bicycle manufacturer, type and frame number, and any other descriptive material concerning the bicycle deemed necessary by the licensing agency, together with information for the transfer of ownership of said bicycle. In addition, also at the time of licensing, the bicycle owner shall be issued his permanent bicycle license indicia bearing the unique number permanently assigned to that bicycle by the state department of motor vehicles. The bicycle license shall remain in effect for the period designated by the department of motor vehicles in accordance with section 39001 of the vehicle code.
(Ord. No. 77-10, § 2, 3-21-77)

Since I want to write about issues pertaining to local, county, state, and national law, and bicycling, it behooves me to be Street Legal in my own home town.

Off I dashed to my local fire station immediately!

The whole procedure was quick, and painless.
And free! :-D

I have a license plate sticker, on my trusty steed, identifying the number as being a CALIFORNIA BICYCLE LICENSE, and a pink piece of paper with all the particulars about my bike, and me.

I then traipsed over to the local police precinct to ask a question:
What is the cost of a ticket if a local copper decided to pass one out to the unlicensed?

I was told that such a piece of paper would essentially be a "Fix-it" ticket costing the miscreant a wopping $10 to take care of.
The idea being that you go to the nearest fire station and get a license, then go to the police station with your proof of licensing so they can sign off on your ticket.

The cops can even give you a license, and even put a serial # on your bike if it doesn't have one, for the records.

One other thing I found out, that annoys me, is that it is apparently ok to ride your bike on the sidewalk in Costa Mesa.

No wonder I never saw cops stopping people from doing this dangerous practice!

Granted, preventing people from performing this stupidity is not a high priority for most police agencies, but still...

Encouraging this practice, on sidewalks not signed as being for such use, does nothing to promote safe cycling.

February 14, 2005 in Life on the Street: Local, and state Laws, and other topics | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Street Legal in Costa Mesa:


I ride my bike on the sidewalk due to the fact drivers don't give a crap about cyclists. My husband has been hit so many times while abiding by the law of riding in the bike lane.

Personally the sidewalk is a lot safer than the road. That's just my opinion though.

Do you know if there are any laws pertaining to the handle bars? Like how low or high up they can be? Also for the city of Costa Mesa

Posted by: Meg | Jul 5, 2015 6:16:29 PM

Well, hello Meg!

Thank you for stopping by this decade old post!

It warms the cockles of my gears to see such interest. :-D

As you may have noticed the blog ended in 2010 and I now bike in Houston, TX.

Aside from seriously encouraging you to give street riding another chance, I suggest you contact the Costa Mesa Fire Dept. and the Orange County Wheelmen cycling Club for answers to your questions.

Happy Cycling!

Posted by: Kiril The Cycling Dude | Jul 5, 2015 7:47:09 PM

Post a comment