Digital license plates are now legal in California
A new technology that allows motorists to use digital license plates instead of the traditional metal type is now available in California.
The Motor Vehicle Digital Number Plates Bill (AB 984), passed earlier this month, allows California vehicle owners to use the digital plates, made exclusively by California company Reviver.
The plates look like tablets. Connect to an app that offers vehicle location services, registration renewal, and security features such as reporting a vehicle as stolen. They are the same size and shape as traditional license plates. Users can change the background color of the plate by switching between a dark or light mode. Motorists have the option to personalize the plate with a banner message.
The bill’s passage follows a successful pilot program in which approximately 10,000 California drivers demoed the new technology.
“Californians have a reputation for being early adopters and innovators of new technologies. We welcome any opportunity to automate and integrate as many aspects of our lives as we can, which allows us to simplify mundane tasks and keep in touch. Reviver cofounder Neville Boston stated in a statement that cars are not an exception.
The digital, tablet-like license plates raise privacy concerns and safety concerns. The bill addresses these concerns by banning GPS use on licensed vehicles, except for fleet vehicles.
“AB 984 strikes a necessary balance between innovation and privacy while digitizing the only thing on our cars today that remain antiquated, license plates,” said Assemblymember Lori D. Wilson (D-Suisun City).
Reviver’s digital license plates cost as little as $19. 95 per month, or about $960 for four years, according to the company. Installation fees are $99.
Digital plates can also be legalized in Arizona and Michigan. However, a few other states are still approving the devices.
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