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What's a digital license plate and how California drivers can buy them?

What a digital license plate is and how you get one
What a digital license plate is and how you get one 02:26

SACRAMENTO — California drivers can now buy digital license plates for their cars.

The cheapest option is $215 a year with a four-year agreement.

Assemblymember (D-Suisun City) Lori Wilson co-authored the bill that was passed by the state allowing all 40 million California drivers to use the new plate.

The plates can show emergency messages like Amber Alerts and have built-in tracking technology to help law enforcement.

"If a vehicle is stolen, we can splash on that plate there's a signal that the vehicle is stolen," said Deputy Director for the DMV Policy Division Bernard Soriano.

The tracking capability has raised concerns over privacy, and when Assemblymember Wilson was asked about hacking capabilities, she said:

"Any time CHP feels like safety is a concern in terms of license plates being altered in any kind of way, they can pull that back and make sure that is taken care of before it's continued use."

There are two plate models: battery-powered and wired. Because of this detail, there is no need to go to the DMV to renew your registration.

"Once you pay those registration fees, we can go ahead and have that reflected on the plate immediately. It can be displayed on the vehicle right away, said Soriano.

At the moment, a Granite Bay-based company named Reviver offers the plates. According to their website, drivers can choose to install the plates themselves or pay another $150 for them to do the job.

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