Oct 17, 2022 - News

You can now get a digital license plate in California

Photo: Courtesy of Reviver

Welcome to the future, Californians. You can now replace your analog license plates with digital ones.

State of play: Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB 984 into law late last month, turning a pilot program that was set to expire in January 2023, into law.

  • The program, created in 2018, enabled about 17,000 drivers to purchase digital license plates from Foster City-based Reviver.
  • Reviver is currently the only company approved to sell digital plates in the state, simply because no other company has proposed a similar product to the DMV as of Thursday, per the SF Chronicle.

Details: The license plates are 6-by-12-inch tablets mounted to the back of a car, displaying the license plate number and registration expiration date.

  • Owners can also customize the plates in light and dark mode, and set personalized messages at the bottom of the plate.

By the numbers: The battery-powered plates cost $19.95 per month, or $215.40 for a four-year agreement.

  • The hard-wired plates, only available to commercial businesses, cost $24.95 a month.
  • You can install the plate yourself or pay $99 for installation.

What they're saying: "AB 984 strikes a necessary balance between innovation and privacy while digitizing the only thing on our cars today that remain antiquated, license plates," Assembly Member Lori Wilson (D-Fairfield), the bill's author, said in a press release.

  • The DMV's office of public affairs said in a statement to Axios the digital plates are "just one way" it's "modernizing and digitizing its services."

The other side: Critics have raised concerns about privacy and the company's access to personal data, the SF Chronicle reports.

  • The bill, however, prohibits the digital plates from having tracking systems, unless they are fleet or commercial vehicles.

Zoom out: These plates are also approved for passenger vehicles in Arizona and Michigan.

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