The city of Santa Cruz Police Department announced their online bicycle registration last week. Registration is free and and never expires. See details at the Santa Cruz Police Blog, which includes stories of successful stolen bike recovery because the owners registered their bikes.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, San Francisco, Menlo Park, and Walnut Creek also offer online bicycle registration.
Other California jurisdictions offering online bike registration include:
Several Bay Area cities suggest registration your bicycle through the National Bike Registry, while Bike East Bay and cities in Alameda County like to recommend BikeIndex.
Systems that rely on stickers are not as effective as ones that allow public access (Santa Cruz PD chose LexisNexis which is closed to the public, so the public cannot help locate stolen bikes). BikeIndex is public and open, and allows identification of the bike through its serial number (imprinted in the frame’s bottom bracket), photographs, make, model, year, color, and default and custom components. See https://bikeindex.org for a better registration system. It’s free, too.
Thanks to the 1st commenter, I registered my bicycle!