Bike Registration and Impoundment

A load of impounded bikes ready to haul away.
A load of impounded bikes ready to haul away.


MSU’s primary bike cleanup/ impounding starts each year after move-out and continues for several weeks.  Impounding does occur throughout the year but mostly for the most serious offenses or in response to complaints by staff.

Consider using our enhanced security MSU Bike Garages to keep your bike protected from the weather, vandalism, theft, accidental impoundment, etc.



Example new and improved impound tag
Example new and improved impound tag listing all the reasons that a bike might get impounded.


Registering your bike is not only required by the MSU ordinance it is a very helpful service in other respects that you might not think about.

  • Registration (a free process that gets you a permit or sticker with a unique number) proves your ownership of your bike.  This helps the police (not only the MSU Police but other police outside of campus) be able to contact you if your bike happens to get stolen.  It also helps you prove to the police that you own the bike if you need them to cut your lock (if you lose your key or break it off in the lock; pretty common problem in the colder months on campus).
  • How to get an MSU DPPS permit?  You can easily apply for one online, they’re free and will come to you through the mail in a few days.  Go to this page and click the “online” link in the 3rd paragraph to begin the process.  If you need additional help finding your bike’s serial number refer to this web page.
  • Where to put the permit?  We see many creative placements of permits which may result the impounding staff not seeing your permit and impounding it.  See photos below so you know exactly where to put your permit.
Where you should place your permit
Where you should place your permit – under the seat on the frame where it’s easy to spot for impounding staff.

Where you should place your permit 1




Since MSU has over 20,000 bikes on campus the university has rules regarding bikes that are breaking those rules (improperly locked up, abandoned, no registration, etc.).  Go to this page to learn all about the impounding process at MSU so your bike doesn’t get thrown in the bike slammer.

Michigan’s Bike Related Laws

If you wonder about the applicable laws related to bicycling in Michigan here’s a great page that summarizes them all.


Author: Tim Potter

Sustainable Transportation Manager, MSU Bikes Service Center; member of the All University Traffic & Transportation Committee (; founding member of MSU Bike Advisory Committee (; advocate for local & regional non-motorized transportation issues thru the Tri-Co. Bike Assn. Advocacy Committee (; board member of the Ride of Silence (; year-round bicyclist of all sorts; photographer; soccer player; father of 3; married 30 yrs. to Hiromi, Japanese national (daughter of former Natl. Keirin Champion, Seiichi Nishiji); Christ follower.

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