District of Columbia - Municipal Regulations 2





1204.1 Each bicycle shall be equipped with a brake which will enable the operator to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement.

1204.2 Each bicycle, when in use at night, shall be equipped with a lamp on the front which shall emit a white light visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet (500 ft.) to the front and with a red reflector on the rear of a type approved by the Director which shall be visible from all distances from fifty feet (50 ft.) to three hundred feet (300 ft.) to the rear when directly in front of upper beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle.

1204.3 A lamp emitting a red light visible from a distance of five hundred feet (500 ft.) to the rear may be used in lieu of the red reflector.

1204.4 In place of the requirements of S1204.2, a lamp may be worn on the arm or leg of an operator; provided, that it may be readily seen from the distances set forth in that subsection.

1204.5 Each bicycle shall be equipped with a bell or other device capable of giving a signal audible for a distance of at least one hundred feet (100 ft.).

1204.6 A bicycle shall not be equipped with, nor shall any bicycle rider use, a siren of any kind.

1204.7 A bicycle rider shall not use the device for giving an audible signal when operating the bicycle within the quiet zone established by the provisions of D.C. Law 2-53 within one hundred (100) yards of any school, college, or university while classes are in session, or within one hundred (100) yards of any hospital or institution for the treatment of sick persons, except where such use is reasonably necessary for the safety of the rider or pedestrians.


1205.1 The Director is authorized to approve or disapprove lighting devices required by this chapter for use on a bicycle.

1205.2 The Director is required to approve or disapprove any lighting devices for which approval is specifically requested by a manufacturer.

1205.3 The Director, upon approving any lamp or device, shall issue to the applicant a letter of approval together with any instructions considered necessary.

1205.4 The Director shall publish lists of all approved lamps and devices by name and type, together with any other information deemed helpful to the public.

1205.5 No person shall have for sale, sell, or offer for sale for use upon or as part of the equipment of a bicycle or use upon any bicycle, any front or rear lamps or reflectors, or any other lamp(s), or parts of any of the foregoing which tend to change the original design or performance, unless of a type which has been approved by the Director.

1205.6 Approval may be revoked if at any time a device falls below the standard of quality upon which approval was based.

1205.7 Whenever the Director has reason to believe that an approved lighting device being sold commercially no longer complies with this chapter, he or she may, after giving thirty (30) days’ previous notice to the person holding the letter of approval for the device in the District, conduct a hearing upon the question of compliance of the approved device.

1205.8 After the hearing, the Director shall determine whether the approved device continues to satisfy the requirements of this chapter.

1205.9 If the lighting device no longer complies with the requirements of this chapter, he or she shall so notify the person holding the letter of approval for the device, and revoke approval of the lighting device for use on bicycles in the District.


1206.1 A mountable rack may be attached to a vehicle for the purpose of transporting a bicycle; provided, that the number of bicycles transported in the rack shall not exceed the number which the rack is designed to carry.

1206.2 No mountable rack shall extend beyond the bumper design margins of a vehicle in any manner which is hazardous or dangerous, nor shall any such mountable rack obstruct the vehicle’s stop or turn signals.


1207.1 Every person engaged in the business of buying or selling bicycles shall inform a purchaser of the purpose and procedure for registration of bicycles.

1207.2 The Director shall include on the registration card of each duly registered bicycle provisions relating to the transfer of ownership.

1207.3 The purchaser of a bicycle which had previously been registered shall present that bicycle along with proof of ownership to the Mayor for re-registration in the name of the new owner.

1207.4 Every person who sells or transfers a new bicycle to any other person within the District shall, within four (4) business days after the sale or transfer, deliver to the transferee a certificate of sale properly describing and identifying the bicycle.

1207.5 Every person who sells or transfers a used bicycle to any other person within the District, for which a District bicycle registration is outstanding, shall within four (4) business days after the sale or disposal, deliver to the transferee evidence of ownership as provided for on the reverse side of the registration certificate.

1207.6 Any owner of a used bicycle may present his or her proof of ownership, along with the bicycle, to any District Police Station or Fire Station for the purpose of registration.

1207.7 No person engaged in the business of renting bicycles shall rent or offer to rent any bicycle that is not registered.

1207.8 Every person engaged in the business of renting bicycles shall issue to each person who rents a bicycle a statement of rental bearing the names and addresses of the lessor and lessee, the rate at which the bicycle is rented, the time for which it is rented, and the bicycle’s registration tag and registration plate number.

1207.9 It shall be the duty of the owner, proprietor, or person in charge of any store or shop where bicycles, motor bicycles, tricycles, or similar vehicles are left for repair, to keep a written record of the number and make of each vehicle so left, together with the name and residence of the owner of the vehicle and the name and residence of the person leaving the vehicle at the store or shop.


1208.1 No bicycle rack shall be placed on public space unless a permit has been obtained from the Mayor.

1208.2 An application for a bicycle rack permit shall be signed by the owner of the abutting property and filed with the Mayor.

1208.3 No permit shall be issued for any rack which would unduly obstruct pedestrian movement.

1208.4 There shall be no fee for rental of public space for racks.

1208.5 Any rack placed on public space by the permittee shall be removable; shall be maintained in a good, clean condition; and shall not be allowed to deteriorate, become unsightly or dangerous to the public.


1209.1 A person may secure a bicycle to a stanchion for a period of not more than twelve (12) consecutive hours, by means of a lock or similar device, in accordance with the requirements of 1209.2.

1209.2 A person may secure a bicycle to a stanchion by means of a lock or similar device as long as securing the bicycle does not obstruct or unduly impede traffic or pedestrian movement and as long as securing bicycles has not been forbidden by any notice posted by the Director.

1209.3 No person shall secure a bicycle to any of the following publicly-owned facilities:

  1. Fire hydrants;
  2. Police and fire call boxes;
  3. Electric traffic signal poles;
  4. Stanchions or poles located within bus zones or stands;
  5. Stanchions or poles located within twenty-five feet (25 ft.) of an intersection;
  6. Trees under ten inches (10 in.) in diameter.

1209.4 There shall be no fee charged for use of parking meter stanchions used in accordance with these regulations; provided, that the parking space adjacent to the meter is not occupied by the bicycle.

1209.5 The Director may remove any bicycle secured to a stanchion which is not in compliance with this section; provided that the bicycle is impounded in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

1209.6 Except as provided in this chapter, no person may park a bicycle upon a highway other than the roadway against the curb; nor may any person park a bicycle upon a sidewalk, except in a rack to support the bicycle; or against a building or at the curb, in such manner as to afford the least obstruction to pedestrian traffic.

1209.7 All provisions of this section shall be equally applicable to the parking or securing of motorized bicycles.


1210.1 The Director may remove from public space and impound any bicycle which is in violation of this chapter, or which is being operated in violation of this chapter.

1210.2 In not more than seventy-two (72) hours after impounding, the Director shall notify the owner of a registered bicycle that it has been impounded, and for what reasons, and shall specify what actions are necessary for the owner to regain possession; Provided, that this notification shall not be necessary if the owner was present at the time of impounding, and was informed of the actions necessary to regain possession.

1210.3 A bicycle impounded for any violation of this chapter shall be returned upon the posting of an appropriate bond or collateral.

1210.4 If an impounded bicycle is not claimed within thirty (30) days of impounding, the Director may, at his discretion, either auction off the bicycle to the highest bidder or give the bicycle free-of-charge to minors as part of a bicycle recreation, safety, and responsibility program.

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