This spring, Missoulians will have a new and improved Bicycle Registration option. According to Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Manager Ben Weiss, this was a much-needed change.

“One of the limitations of our program was that if a bike gets stolen here and turns up in Bozeman, Spokane, or a place even further away, there was no way for police over there, even if it had a Missoula sticker on it, to check a data base and see who that bike belonged to,” Weiss said.

Weiss was proud to announce the launch of Project 529 Bicycle Registry.

“Project 529 is an international registration data base that police departments all over the U.S., and particularly in the northwest, have access to,” Weiss said. “If a bike is registered with 529 and it shows up somewhere else, there is a much higher likelihood of getting that bike returned to its rightful owner.”

The City of Missoula believes Project 529 will improve bicycle recovery, deter thieves, improve the morale of the biking community, help the Police Department return lost and stolen bikes to their rightful owners, and improve the database of current registered bicycles.

“They got in touch with us,” Weiss said. “I worked closely with Missoula in Motion and the Missoula Police Department to determine if this would be a good replacement for our city registration system. After a lot of back and forth and scenario discussion, we decided to give it a shot. We are hoping to promote it pretty heavily.”

Bikes previously registered with the City of Missoula in the last 10 years will automatically be entered into the 529 database so owners will not be required to re-register. To register a bike, either download the 529 Garage smartphone app or visit here.