The University of Iowa has partnered with Bike Index – a national registry of bicycles – that can assist authorities with recovering lost or stolen bicycles. The free registration program is offered to all university students, faculty and staff, and community members.

Registration offers the following advantages: 

  • Provides owners with an easily accessible record of their bicycle making it easier to report theft and prove ownership of the bicycle
  • Allows you to upload photos of your bicycle or mark it as lost or stolen
  • Serves as a deterrent to theft
  • Makes it easier for law enforcement to return your bicycle to you if it is located
  • Reduces the need to immobilize/impound illegally parked bicycles

Creating an account and registering a bicycle is quick and easy. Bicycle owners have two ways to register. 

Option One

Go online at to create an account. Once you have completed your registration, a registration sticker will be mailed to you at your local mailing address. Please ensure your local mailing address is up to date in your Bike Index profile. 

Option Two

Retrieve a registration sticker from one of the following locations below. Scan the QR code on the registration sticker to complete your online registration through Bike Index. 

  • Parking and Transportation – West Campus Transportation Center 
  • Campus Safety – University Capitol Centre 
  • UI Hospitals & Clinics – Safety and Security, Roy Carver Pavilion lower level

With either option, registration is complete when the registration sticker is permanently and visibly affixed to the bicycle’s seat tube or the diagonal down tube. 

Bicycle serial number

Every bike has a unique serial number, it's how they are identified. During the registration process, the system will prompt you to enter your bicycle's serial number. 

Image of bicycle showing where to find serial number

Operating Regulations

Campus bicycle operating regulations are in Chapter 40 of the University Operations Manual.  Bicyclists should operate their bicycles in a responsible and courteous manner and observe the operating regulations. The University Department of Public Safety enforces these regulations through the issuance of citations and fines.  

When operating on public streets, bicycles are considered vehicles by the Iowa Code and should be operated in accordance with all traffic laws. For more information, contact Campus Safety, or the Iowa City and Coralville Police departments.  

Parking Regulations

Campus bicycle parking regulations (including fines and fees) are in Chapter 40 of the University Operations Manual and in Parking and Transportation Regulations.  The Parking and Transportation Department enforces these regulations. 

Please note that bicycles should park at provided bicycle racks and must not be:   

  • Parked inside University buildings. 
  • Attached to or rested against trees or shrubs. 
  • Attached to or rested against signs, handrails, or handicap parking meters. 
  • Attached to or rested against street furniture. 
  • Parked in a manner, which limits access to, or use of any University facility or safety device. 
  • Parked in specifically prohibited parking areas. 

Iowa City Regulations

Iowa City and the University of Iowa have similar bicycle regulations; however, there are a few key differences. Below are some key regulations to know when you are on the City of Iowa City property. See the City Code of Iowa City located on the City of Iowa City website for a full set of bicycle regulations.  

  • Bicycles are prohibited from riding upon the downtown pedestrian mall or upon the sidewalk in the commercial district, including the central business district. 
  • You must have a headlight on your bicycle if you are riding between the hours of sunset and sunrise. 
  • If you are within 300 feet of a bicycle rack, you must park at that rack 

Bicycle Safety Tips


  • Ride predictably 
  • Ride as the operator of a vehicle 
  • Wear a bicycle helmet 
  • Respect the pedestrian right of way 
  • Follow the traffic laws 
  • Share the road and walkways