California Allows License Plates To Go Digital

Government / 21 Comments

Your plate can now track your location.

California is currently running a pilot program for digital license plates, which is good news for a company called Reviver. Reviver's RPlate digital plates are already legal in a few states, but California represents the most significant number of new car sales per year.

Unfortunately, RPlate is not a solution to get around the front plate laws. You still have to display a plate at the front and rear. The most significant change to Amendment Bill 984 is "authorizing an entity to issue alternatives to stickers, tabs, license plates, and registration cards."

In short, it merely grants the right to run a digital plate under the same conditions currently being used to license plate wraps, another solution to a problem that has haunted car lovers for decades.


The bad news is that you still have to drill holes in the car, but the RPlate is more aesthetically pleasing. It has a simple, customizable design, and you can switch between light or dark mode. You can decide for yourself by looking at the images of the Lamborghini Huracan below.

The RPlate displays all the necessary information, like the expiration date, state, and, obviously, the license number. In addition to that, you can also include a personalized message where the DMV's website would usually be. It can be something seasonal like "Merry Christmas," or you can go the Grinch route and use "F$%K EVERYONE."

The RPlate still needs to be signed off by the Department of the California Highway Patrol, so we wouldn't recommend rude slogans until that signature is on paper. Until the pilot program is complete, no more than 0,5% of registered vehicles may use it, and Reviver needs to provide all the plates to the state at no charge.

Reviver Lamborghini

The RTPlate also has other useful features. It's a connected plate with GPS and telematics. Reviver included these features for private and fleet use.

On the private side, you can subscribe to a two or four-year subscription. You'll receive instant notifications via an app when your car moves, and you can renew the plate from your phone. Naturally, this comes with several consumer fears about data leaking, but Reviver's system is based around a future-proofed cloud-based platform.

The Amendment Bill explicitly states that the vehicle owner should be able to disable the connected feature manually. In other words, don't worry about your license plate nabbing you for speeding. California may want to ban ICE cars, but it's not going for the full 1984.

Reviver/YouTube Reviver/YouTube

"Data exchanged between the department and the device, or the provider of the device is limited to that data necessary to display evidence of registration compliance, including the payment of registration fees, plate configurations, and the information or images displayed on the alternative product," states the bill.

As you can imagine, the above features are beneficial for fleet owners. The RPlate allows you to remotely manage your fleet, keep an eye on drivers, and include personalized brand messages. You also gain access to real-time location, geofencing, trip mileage, and access to an entire dashboard instead of an app.

If you're worried about the plate breaking, it's covered in a lens five times stronger than the glass that usually covers smartphones and such. It's also waterproof, heatproof, and freezeproof and comes with a no-questions-asked lifetime warranty.


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