Bike-Themed California License Plate To Benefit Cycling

Funds will go toward promoting bicycling to curb obesity.

CAbike image plate
Proceeds from the license plate sales will fund a grant program to support bicycle organizations and programs.State of California

The California Department of Public Health Nutrition Education Obesity Prevention Branch is sponsoring a new Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) specialty auto license plate, “Bike For A Healthy California.” The goal is to collect orders for at least 7,500 plates by September 1 this year in order to put the plate into production. If 7,500 applications aren’t filed by the deadline, the application period could be extended an additional 12 months.

The bicycle-themed license plate will generate funds for a grant program that promotes cycling as a way to address obesity and increase physical activity in partnership with statewide coalitions, community-based organizations, nonprofits, and city and county health departments focusing on:

  • Safe places to ride bikes, bike lanes, paths, and trails.
  • Earn-a-bike programs for at-risk and disadvantaged youth.
  • School and youth programs: safe routes, bike skills, and nutrition education for fourth- and fifth-graders, clubs, and teams for teens.
  • Greater access for bikes in urban and suburban areas.
  • Safety education for bike riders and drivers of motor vehicles.

Applicants can order a custom plate ($103), exchange their existing custom plate for a custom bike plate (also $103), or order a non-customized sequential plate ($50).

“The license plate will act as an icon that shows the person who has it on their vehicle is a cyclist, is physically active, and is a conscious steward of the environment who cares for the overall sustainability of California,” a State of California press release says.

The release states that according to research from the UCLA Health Interview Survey, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Twenty-five percent of the population in California is overweight or obese.
  • Just 22.2 percent of youth ages 6-11 and 11.5 percent of youth ages 12-17 meet the current physical activity recommendation of 60 minutes a day.
  • Only 56.3 percent of California adults meet the recommendation of at least 150-300 minutes of activity a week.

“Having a state bicycle license plate raises awareness and funding in ways that are hard to replicate. License plates have a footprint that is difficult to find in other media and communications formats. People see them every day, and every vehicle owner at some point must buy a plate,” said Ken McLeod, policy director for bicycle advocacy group the League of American Bicyclists. “In numerous states, funds from bicycle license plates provide an important source of funds for organizations that promote bicycling, physical activity, and traffic safety. We are excited to see the efforts of organizations in California aided by this new funding source.”

The state is running the plate program with input from Clif Bar, the California Bicycle Coalition, Cycle California! Magazine, Felt Bicycles, Adventure Sports Journal, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, the NorCal and SoCal High School Cycling Leagues, PeopleForBikes, Cycle Kids,, Ride Napa Valley, Voler, and 10 Speed Coffee.

To purchase a plate or find out more about the program, go to For questions about the plate or to get involved with the program, contact David Bodick of the California Department of Public Health at (916) 324-1173 or