California's new $700 digital license plates can relay messages to other drivers

June 2, 2018

Future license plates in California may be powered by the same technology used in Amazon’s Kindle e-reader—but not as a touchscreen device, of course.

The state of California said Monday that it will test the nearly $700 digital license plates on 24 state-owned vehicles before approving them for public use, reported The Sacramento Bee.

Drivers will be able to change the color of the background of the plate and font and when a car is parked it will be possible to move the centered registration number to display a message or even an advertisement.

The plates are similar to those currently being tested in Dubai.

Police will be able to track stolen vehicles with the plate—unless it is removed by a crafty thief. Drivers will also be able to update their vehicle registrations via the plate.

The prohibitive factor for most drivers will be the cost of the plate. California based tech company, Reviver Auto will charge $699 for the plate, which doesn’t include the cost of installation or a $7 per month user fee.

The plates won’t be sold by the California DMV but will instead be available through car dealerships, 11 of which have signed up to sell the plates so far.

Arizona is also planning a pilot program to test the plates.

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