Digital license plates hitting California roads

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SACRAMENTO — We’ve seen a lot of technological advances in cars over the last several years, but not much with license plates. Those days now appear to be over because license plates just got a whole lot smarter.

“This is not clunky and chunky like a big piece of metal,” said Allan Cooper, of Reviver Auto, which designed the smart, e-ink digital plate now being tested in California. “Your registration becomes renewable. You pay online and these just click over to the next year.”

It’s called the Reviver Plate, and it can do a lot.

The state legislature approved testing the technology in 2013. A DMV spokesman said the pilot program allows the agency to “evaluate the use of alternatives to stickers, tabs, license plates, and registration cards, subject to certain requirements.”

If your car is stolen, it will actually say stolen on the plate. If there’s an Amber Alert, it can relay the message right on it.

Cooper said consumers have control over their privacy. You can’t change the numbers and it’s on the car tightly.

The license plate costs $699, plus there’s a $7 monthly fee for the service.

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