California residents can now get digital license plates

Josue Torres
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A California digital license plate.(Courtesy of Reviver)

Following the approval of a new bill that made a California program official, drivers in the state can now purchase digital license plates for their vehicles.

More than 36 million cars in California can now benefit from the digital license plates program made by the California firm Reviver Auto.

The devices are tablets that have a modern appearance, are the same size as regular license plates (6 by 12 inches), and contain a screen that displays a string of characters and numbers.

According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, some 17,000 drivers bought digital license plates as part of the trial program. 

These license plates were supposed to expire on Jan. 1, 2023, however, Gov. Gavin Newson signed AB 984 into law last month, making it permanent. As a result, all more than 36 million cars in the state that are currently registered can now choose to use the high-tech plates.

When the devices were introduced in 2018, some experts in the automotive industry praised the technology and said it had been overdue, while others expressed worries about privacy and the data the firm was collecting.

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(Courtesy of Reviver)

The bill forbids the gadgets from having GPS or other tracking systems, with the exception of certain vehicles like fleet and commercial vehicles, in response to privacy concerns. 

The legislation also states that an employer must tell a worker before using tracking technologies to check on a worker’s performance. The tracking system may potentially be disabled by the employee after hours.

What exactly are these digital license plates?

The digital license plate is a 6-by-12-inch tablet that is attached to the back of a car, just like the standard aluminum license plates provided by the DMV.

When the car is moving, the tablet shows the license plate number, and when it is parked, it may transform into a personalized billboard. Through a smartphone app, drivers may add a message under the license plate number or select a bright or dark mode to customize their license plates.

The gadgets may also be used by users to renew their car registration using an app, pay for parking and bridge tolls automatically, report a stolen vehicle, and track it. Reviver claims that the license plates may be instantly modified to include Amber warnings or a “I’m stolen” message.

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(Courtesy of Reviver)

Drivers must still use the standard metal form of the front license plate since California law mandates both front and back license plates, according to the DMV.

According to the DMV, when car registration payments are paid and processed, the new registration year will automatically appear on digital plates.

There is still a need for paper registration cards. However, the DMV stated that car owners will have the choice of registering in digital format if a pilot digital e-registration procedure is authorized under the permanent scheme.

How can California residents get a digital license plate?

According to Taylor Woolfork, chief of staff for Assemblywoman Wilson, any California resident can get an RPlate right away. They may be found on the Reviver website.

According to Woolfork, no other businesses currently have a product like Reviver. However, if another business entered this market, Woolfork says they would have to go through the same approval procedure as was utilized for the pilot.

Would you use a digital license plate? Let us know in the comments below.

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