NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A7916
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to requiring
license plates for bicycles, bicycles with electric assist and electric
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
To require all bicycles, bicycles with electric assist and electric
scooters in New York City to have a license plate
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 amends the title of article 34 of the vehicle and traffic law.
Section 2 amends the vehicle and traffic law by adding a new section
1244 that requires bicycles, bicycles with electric assist and electric
scooters in New York City to have a license issued by the Department of
Motor Vehicles. The license plate will have a distinctive number
assigned to it that corresponds to a certificate of registration. The
design of the license plate will be determined by the department and
shall be conspicuously displayed.
Section 3 provides for an immediate effective date.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORIGINAL AND AMENDED VERSION (IF APPLICABLE):
On Apr. 25, 1901, New York Governor Benjamin Odell Jr. signed into law a
bill requiring owners of motor vehicles to register with the state and
have a license plate. It was the first state in the nation to require
license plates for automobiles.
As bicycles, e-bikes and e-scooters grow in popularity, it is time for
New York to once again lead the country by requiring these types of
vehicles to have a distinctive license plate issued by the DMV. Opera-
tors of bicycles, e-bikes and e-scooters have all the same rights and
are subject to all of the duties and regulations applicable to drivers
of motor vehicles. For some reason, these rules do not extend to license
plates, which are a simple way to better regulate and enforce the law
for the growing number of bicycles, e-bikes and e-scooters in New York
Support is growing for license plates for bicycles, e-bikes and e-scoot-
ers. "I think ideas like license plates certainly need to be consid-
ered," said former Mayor de Blasio. "We're going into a new world where
more and more people are. biking - and that's great - but in some ways
we have to catch up with that reality, so I think that's the kind of
idea that now needs to be explored."
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2021-22: S7206 - Referred to Transportation
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
To be determined.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2023-2024 Regular Sessions
August 4, 2023
Introduced by M. of A. CUNNINGHAM -- read once and referred to the
Committee on Transportation
AN ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to requiring
license plates for bicycles, bicycles with electric assist and elec-
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. The article heading of article 34 of the vehicle and traf-
2 fic law, as amended by chapter 694 of the laws of 1995, is amended to
3 read as follows:
4 REGISTRATION AND OPERATION OF BICYCLES AND PLAY DEVICES
5 § 2. The vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding a new section
6 1244 to read as follows:
7 § 1244. Registration of bicycles, bicycles with electric assist, and
8 electric scooters. a. In a city having a population of one million or
9 more, every bicycle as defined in section one hundred two of this chap-
10 ter, bicycle with electric assist as defined in section one hundred
11 two-c of this chapter and electric scooter as defined in section one
12 hundred fourteen-e of this chapter shall be registered and issued a
13 license plate by the department. In a city having a population of one
14 million or more, no person shall operate a bicycle, bicycle with elec-
15 tric assist or electric scooter on the public highways unless such bicy-
16 cle, bicycle with electric assist or electric scooter shall have a
17 distinctive number assigned to it by the commissioner and a number plate
18 issued by the commissioner with a number corresponding to that of the
19 certificate of registration.
20 b. Such license plates shall be of such material, form, design and
21 dimensions and contain or set forth such distinguishing number or other
22 identification marks as the commissioner shall prescribe, provided,
23 however, that there shall be at all times a marked contrast between the
24 color of the number plates and that of the numerals or letters thereon,
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 7916 2
1 and provided further that no bicycle, bicycle with electric assist or
2 electric scooter shall display the number plates of more than one state
3 at a time, nor shall any plate be used other than those issued by the
5 c. Each such license plate shall identify whether the bicycle, bicycle
6 with electric assist or electric scooter is personal or commercial in
8 d. Each such license plate shall be conspicuously displayed on the
9 rear of the bicycle, bicycle with electric assist or electric scooter,
10 securely fastened so as to prevent the same from swinging.
11 e. The fee for such license plates shall be a nominal fee determined
12 by the commissioner.
13 § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.