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Digital License Plates Will Start Appearing on CA Cars

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - Car dealerships in the area will start selling digital license plates to customers.

RPlates are made by Reviver Auto, a company based in Foster City. The company says the RPlate Pro can be used a legal license plate, but can also be used to display advertising or DMV-approved messages like "Don't Drink and Drive" or "My Child is an Honor Student." Reviver also believes the plates could be used to broadcast emergency alerts.

In the future, Reviver Auto claims the digital plates could be used to pay for parking or bridge tolls.

CBS13 learned the California Department of Motor Vehicles approved the use of digital license plates in 2013 and is privately testing them. According to Reviver Auto, the DMV and CHP have done testing on the plates. A 3rd party lab also put the RPlates through extensive testing, including for the effects of dust, temperature and water.

Critics worry about driver safety, specifically whether the plates will be able to track speed, location and personal information. The company claims the plates "the same level of security as online banking, with three-key encryption protocols."

The RPlates cost $699 and require an $8-a-month service plan.

Reviver's founder and CEO says they're now legal in California, Texas, Florida and Arizona.

15,000 digital plates have been pre-sold. The company expects 1,500 of them to be on the road by the end of June. Locally, they're being sold at several auto dealerships: Future Ford Group, Kuni Chevrolet and Cadillac, Galpin Motors and Pendragon.

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