Bikes are an inexpensive, fast, and efficient way to deliver goods. The city has laws and rules to help make commercial bicycling safer. Administrative Code of the City of New York §10-157 and §10-157.1 pertain to businesses that use bicycles for commercial purposes. Failure to comply with these laws and rules may result in a fine.
Requirements for commercial bicyclists
Commercial bicyclist safety course
The Commercial Bicyclist Safety Course covers essential information about employer and bicyclist responsibilities for safe biking with all necessary equipment. All commercial bicyclists in New York City are required to review the course. After a bicyclist has completed the course, employers should indicate it on the required roster. View the online course in English, Chinese (中文版) or Spanish (español) Download a printable version of the course in English, Chinese (中文版) or Spanish (español)
Requirements for businesses
Commercial bicyclist safety poster
Businesses that use bicycles for commercial purposes must post the commercial bicyclist safety poster where commercial bicyclists will easily see it and in languages that they understand. Download the poster in English, Chinese (中文版), Greek (ελληνικά), Haitian Creole (Kreyòl Ayisyen), Italian, Korean (한국어), Russian (ру́сский язы́к), or Spanish (español)
The poster is also available in a black-and-white version that prints on two letter pages. Download the black-and-white poster in English, Chinese (中文版), Greek (ελληνικά), Haitian Creole (Kreyòl Ayisyen), Italian, Korean (한국어), Russian (ру́сский язы́к), or Spanish (español)
Businesses that use bicycles for commercial purposes must maintain a roster that includes each commercial bicyclist’s name, residence address, date of employment and discharge from employment, unique 3-digit ID number; and confirmation that the bicyclist has completed the DOT Commercial Bicyclist Safety Course. Download a roster template (pdf)
Equipment for the cyclist
Businesses must provide delivery cyclists with the following:
- A unique three-digit ID number for each bicyclist
- Retro-reflective upper-body apparel with the business' name and bicyclist's three-digit ID number on the back Download a Vest/Upper Body Apparel ID template (pdf)
- A bicycle helmet in good condition
- Business ID card including the information shown in the illustration below. Download an ID Card template (pdf)
Businesses must equip commercial bicycles with the following:
- A bell or other audible device – not a whistle or siren
- White headlight and red taillight from dusk to dawn
- Reflectors on each wheel and front and back of bicycle
- A metal or plastic sign at least 3 inches by 5 inches with the business name and a unique bicycle ID number for each bicycle (different from the bicyclist’s ID number). The sign must be affixed to the rear of each bicycle or bicycle seat, or both sides of the delivery basket. Download a bicycle sign template (pdf)
- Commercial Bicyclist ID Card (pdf)
- Vest/Upper Body Apparel ID (pdf)
- Metal or Plastic Bicycle Sign (pdf)
- Roster (pdf)
Do you Deliver? brochure
DOT has prepared a short brochure and a full guidebook to assist businesses that use bicycles for commercial purposes. Download a Do You Deliver? brochure (pdf) Download the full Do You Deliver? guidebook in English, Spanish, Chinese or Greek (pdfs)
DOT's Commercial Bicycle Unit will enforce §10-157 and §10-157.1 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York while inspecting those businesses using bicycles for commercial purposes and in response to 311 complaints.
NYPD will continue to enforce both traffic-related moving violations against bicyclists and §10-157 and §10-157.1 against business.
Commercial bicyclist forums
DOT holds interactive workshops for business owners about the commercial bicyclist law. At a forum, business owners can learn about the law and keep their employees safe, and also get a free sample of equipment required for commercial bicyclists. Check the DOT Events calendar for upcoming forums
Frequently asked questions
Can commercial bicyclists use an electric bike?
The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles does not register electric bicycles, therefore their operation is prohibited in New York City.
What kind of clothing must commercial bicyclists wear?
Commercial bicyclists must wear retro-reflective upper body apparel with their 3-digit ID number and the business name on the back. Any garment, such as a jacket or vest, will be in compliance as long as the business name and ID number are legible, and it is retro-reflective.
Can commercial bicyclists hang bags from handle bars?
Hanging bags from handlebars is not recommended. The best way for business owners to help their employees safely carry deliveries is to provide a basket or pannier.
Why do commercial bicyclists need a number?
The law requires that each commercial bicyclist have a unique 3-digit number for ID purposes. If someone leaves, business owners may reassign that number, and record the change in their log.
Update to commercial bicyclist laws
This page reflects recent amendments to §10-157 and §10-157.1 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York, effective on April 23, 2013. The legislation related to this law is available from the City Council.
- Local Law 52 of 2012 in relation to the apparel used by operators of bicycles used for commercial purposes.
- Local Law 54 of 2012 in relation to required bicycle safety courses for commercial bicyclists.
- Local Law 55 of 2012 in relation to commercial bicycle enforcement.
- Local Law 56 of 2012 in relation to record-keeping for businesses that use bicycles for commercial purposes.
Commercial Bicyclist Outreach Summary
This report outlines DOT's efforts to promote safety for commercial bicyclists with the nation’s largest commercial cycling education and safety campaign. Download the report (pdf)
NYC Business Owners Bill of Rights
The City of New York provides certain rights to business owners regarding customer service, permits and inspections. Learn more