New Bicycle Themed Specialty Vanity License Plate Supports California Cycling and Nutrition Programs

California Bike License Plate

Pre-order the California Bicycle Special License Plate

for your California registered car, truck, trailer, or motorcycle.

California Department of Public Health (CDPH) in the Nutrition Education Obesity Prevention Branch (NEOPB) has launched a new specialized license plate for the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) registered cars, trucks, motorcycles and trailers. The license plate will have a bicycle theme and money generated from the sales of the license plates will support school and community-based cycling and nutrition programs in California.

In order for the DMV to initiate production of the license plate, CDPH NEOPB must pre-sell or take deposits on 7,500 license plates.  After they reach the 7,500 threshold all the proceeds from the sale of the plates, less $5.00 each for DMV processing, will go toward a grant program available to County Health Offices, Schools, Nonprofits and Community Based Organizations.  Grants will cover the following areas:

  • Safe Places to Ride Bikes:
    Fund efforts to promote bike lanes, paths multipurpose trails and mountain bike trails to provide safe access to parks and playgrounds as well as help to make existing parks and recreation areas safe places to ride.  
  • Earn-A-Bike Programs:
    Provide disadvantaged and at-risk youth opportunities to learn bike mechanic skills, develop social skills and receive mentoring from program advisors.  Youth also develop a passion for the joy of riding a bike.  Grants will target organizations, schools and communities that want to start or have an existing Earn-A-Bike program.
  • School Programs:
    Funding will be made available to school programs that are bicycle-based or feature cycling such as Safe Routes to school and nutrition education at the elementary school level to prevent obesity and chronic diseases. These programs will also focus on bicycle handling and skill development.  Junior High/Middle School and High School programs will include bike classes with certified curriculum, as well as development and support of school teams and clubs.  
  • Bicycles as a Regular Mode of transportation:
    Grants will fund efforts to make urban and suburban areas more bike accessible, thereby promoting bicycle use as routine transportation and encourage people to use bicycles to save the environment and improve air quality.   
  • Safety Education for Cyclists and Drivers of Automobiles:
    Will promote the use of best practices in cycling education, and the education of drivers of motor vehicles regarding the awareness of cyclists on the road.  The program will also encourage best practices with local law enforcement agencies to initiate cycling ambassador programs to provide on the spot education to cyclists and drivers.

California Bike License Plate

The bike plate web site  launched on September 4, 2019. We will have 12 months to reach the 7,500 threshold.  If we have not reached 7,500 plates, but are close, we will continue.  If we are far off, a consensus decision of all workgroup members will be made whether or not to request the optional additional 12 months or close the program.  All deposits will be returned at that point.

CDPH is creating this program due for the following reasons: The current physical activity guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend 60 minutes of daily physical activity for children ages 6 to 17 and 150- 300 minutes a week for adults.  Yet in California, just 22.2 percent of youth ages 6-11 and 11.5 percent of adolescents, 12-17, meet the physical activity recommendations 1, 2.  Only 56.3 percent of California adults meet the current recommendation3.

Physical in-activity and poor nutrition have contributed to a dramatic rise in obesity and the prevalence of chronic disease in California.  In California, 7.4 million adults and adolescents were obese in 2011-12.  Moreover, obesity among California adults is increasing.  The prevalence of adult obesity rose from 19 percent in 2001 to 25 percent in 2012.  Obesity plays a significant role in the onset of chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and others. 

Historically, California is one of three states with a per capita annual death rate of three bicycle-related fatalities per million, third highest in the country5.  Data from a 2016 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Reports shows California as number three in cyclist’s deaths after Florida and Maine2

Pre Order Plate Rates

The Department of Motor Vehicles will begin the process of creating the program to issue the California bicycle license plates upon receipt of 7,500 pre-paid applications.

  • Original Sequential Plate ($50)
  • Create a New Personalized Plate ($103)
  • Exchange Existing Personalized Plate ($103)

Order  at

1.     California Health Interview Survey (ASK CHIS) 2015 data sets
2.     California Health Interview Survey (ASK CHIS) 2015 data sets
3.     CDC NPAO Data Trends: Physical Activity and Obesity
4.     UCLA Center for Health Policy  Research, “Obesity in California”  2015 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 
5.     National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Deadliest States For Cyclists: Per Capita Fatality Rates, 2013
6.     Traffic Safety Facts, Bicyclists and Other Cyclists, 2016

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