Keep Your Bike Safe

Every year, thousands of bicycles are stolen in Seattle. Help protect your bike from theft and increase your odds of getting it back in case it’s stolen by following these two simple steps of U-locking your frame and wheel and registering your bike.

Two steps to bike security: u-lock your frame and wheel, and register your bike

1. Lock Your Bike Using A U-Lock

Use a U-lock and lock your frame and a wheel to a rack designed for locking bicycles. Locking the second wheel is also recommended.

To make sure your bike is stable, be sure to align your bike on the bike rack so there are two points of contact, one near the front of the bike’s frame and one towards the back.

2. Register Your Bike

If your bike is stolen, you will need a description, serial number, and photographs to help recover it. You can register your bike at two independent, free, and simple online registration systems that have proven effective at recovering stolen bikes: Bike Index and Project 529. Both work similarly.

You should register your bicycle as soon as you buy it, and update its description and photos as you make changes to it.

Bike Index

Bike Index is the official registration system of the UW and Seattle Bike Blog, and widely used by Seattle bike shops. Bike Index uses a strong social media presence to mobilize local people to find stolen bikes - successfully recovering more than 4,500 bikes.

Every bike registered and reported on Bike Index will also be listed on Project 529.

Project 529

Project 529 has access to the most bicycle registrations, and has a significant presence in Vancouver, B.C. Project 529 has a website and a mobile app to register bicycles, and uses emails and push notifications to alert subscribers to recent nearby bike thefts.

Recovering a Stolen Bike

What to do if your bike is stolen in the City of Seattle.

  • Report the theft to the Seattle Police Department, to establish a case number
    • For bicycles worth $500 or less, use the online form
    • For bicycles worth more than $500, call the non-emergency line at (206) 625-5011 and report it to your local precinct office. Be sure to write down your case number
  • Mark your bikes as stolen on Bike Index and Project 529
  • Look for your bike on websites and apps like Craigslist, eBay, OfferUp, and LetsGo

More Information

Here are a couple more resources on how to lock, register, and recover your bicycle:


Greg Spotts, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
Phone: (206) 684-7623

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The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is on a mission to deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities for everyone as we work to achieve our vision of Seattle as a thriving, equitable community powered by dependable transportation.