New California law legalizes digital license plates on cars

California drivers can now legally install a brand new technology on their vehicle: digital license plates.

The law project, AB 984, was written by Assembly Member Lori Wilson and signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on October 5.

The pilot program, the first of its kind, was implemented in the state in 2018 and included 175,000 participants. Now millions of licensed drivers can install the state-of-the-art hardware.

The number plate is created by relive and uses an e-ink type display, similar to those found on an e-reader.

Notably, the digital plate opens up a wealth of customization possibilities, including color choices and border displays (similar to a license plate frame.) The hardware connects to an app and allows owners to use vehicle tracking services, security features, stolen vehicle reporting, registration renewals without the need for stickers or visiting a DMV location, and more.

The plates can display different emergency messages, for example if a vehicle is stolen or an AMBER alert. A built-in location tracker will make it easy for police to locate a stolen car, according to Reviver.

There are currently two options to choose from – a battery powered version or a wired version.

The battery-powered option is available for all vehicles and is a “self-installed model with a 5-year replaceable battery available at $19.95/month.”

The wired version is “available to commercial businesses only and includes a professionally installed wired model with built-in telematics features and a backlit display, at $24.95/month.”

Currently, only two other states allow digital license plates — Arizona and Michigan — while Texas only allows digitized plates for commercial vehicles. Ten other states are currently in various stages of adopting digital plates in the future.

“California is home to the rapidly growing digital license plate technology,” the company says. “California has always been a place of innovation and opportunity, and AB 984 shows how we can use technology to improve compliance, provide convenience, and expand industry standards.”

Digital plates are now available for purchase for Californians.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *