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Santa Monica Police Will Not Throw you in Jail if You Don't Have a Bicycle License, Says Official

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Photo by alexbcthompson via Flickr
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Although Santa Monica's outdated bicycle license appears to directly contradict state law, officials recently have been promoting the city's bicycle licenses because of a rise in thefts in the Southbay. "We do try to get people to get licensed because it makes the return of stolen bikes easier," explained Don Patterson, the manager who oversees the division that issues bicycle licenses.

"Concurrent with that, we recognize we are a tourist city and if you ride your bike into Santa Monica... we're not going to just stop for not having a bicycle license and throw you in jail," Patterson continued.

Santa Monica's bicycle license law has been on the books since 1995 and states that "any person" riding on city streets is subject to the law. However, state law says cities that choose to require bicycle licenses may only apply it to residents.