Digital license plates are now permitted on vehicles driven by Californians.

On May 30, 2018, a digital license plate produced by Reviver is displayed in California. Getty Images/Justin Sullivan remove caption
switch to caption Getty Images/Justin Sullivan On May 30, 2018, a digital license plate produced by Reviver is displayed in California.
Getty Images/Justin Sullivan Put that rusted metal object away. A new law now allows drivers in California to purchase digital license plates.

Alternatives to standard license plates had already been tested in the Golden State, but a law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom late last month opened up the option to all motorists.

Drivers can instantly renew their registration on the license plate-sized screens by entering their license plate number, which are shown on them. Even further customization options include switching between bright and dark modes and adding bespoke banners on the plates.

The bill’s backer, California Assemblywoman Lori Wilson, claimed it would simplify things for drivers.
Wilson declared, “I’m all about giving people options here in the state of California. It’s a result of convenience.”

According to Reviver, the business that offers digital license plates in California, the technology is also permitted for commercial fleet vehicles in Texas, Arizona, Michigan, and Texas. According to the California-based company, ten more states are considering implementing digital license plates.

Privacy concerns have been raised by the tracking capabilities of the plates. Employers can track a vehicle’s position and mileage using the company’s so-called RPlate, which can be GPS-equipped.

Privacy groups have expressed concern over this feature, although Reviver has stated that company does not share any information with law police or the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

Wilson thinks that the RPlate’s ability to flash a message in the event of an Amber Alert or when a vehicle is reported stolen will improve public safety.

“If I’m driving behind a vehicle and I see this, looking in the rear of a vehicle, it will give me a cause for concern and I will be on alert for what I can potentially see,” said Wilson. She said that motorists who were concerned about privacy may turn off the GPS in their own cars.

TECHNOLOGY The business said that during the trial phase, roughly 10,000 California drivers bought used the RPlate; this number is anticipated to rise now that all 36 million vehicles registered in the state can purchase digital license plates.

Apart from a few traffic stops by police who thought the digital license plates were against the law, 2019 report from the California DMV discovered that neither officials nor drivers had any substantial reservations about the new technology.

According to the government, “The Department feels that the Digital License Plate is an effective license plate substitute and proposes that it become a permanent option for Californians.”

Both a hard-wired variant for commercial cars and a battery-powered version of the RPlate are available from Reviver for a monthly fee of $19.95 and $24.95 respectively.