Electronic License Plates for California are coming!

California legislature has passed a bill that would make California the 1st State to OK the use of electronic license plates.

The bill is on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk and if signed, would give the go-ahead to bring the digital age to your front and rear bumpers.  If enacted, California will run a pilot program (with volunteers) until 2017.Electronic Plates

“A supporter of this bill is Smart Plate Mobile, a company that holds a patent on a digital electronic license plate, which is essentially a computer screen that can take on the size and appearance of a standard California license plate …


 This product also allows that screen, once a vehicle comes to a stop for four seconds or longer, to display a different image on the plate such as an advertisement…. OR MORE…


And privacy advocates are crying foul as they see the law enforcement and who knows else, having instant access to where your vehicle is in real time. Yikes!


Of course, the insurance industry has spent the last couple of years touting their electronic plug-in surveillance system that reports on how you drive…



A tie-in with the plates to display messages like:

  • Expired
  • Uninsured
  • Doesn’t use indicators
  • Too slow for the left hand lane
  • Or worse: speeding—how far away from a system are we that monitors you speed, displays it for all to see, and electronically transmits it to law enforcement or your insurance company.
  • A couple of days later and you get a speeding ticket in the mail, maybe connected to your bank account.


I’m not paranoid, just realistic about the pace of the digital age.  Not too long into the future electronic license plates are going to be as common as toll road devices are today.


See you on down (the heavily monitored) road!


Share This Drive with Dave Story with Your Friends!

About the Author: Dave Miller

Dave Miller With Lotus GT
Dave Miller drives the fastest, coolest, sexiest cars on the planet. He travels the world uncovering the hidden gems in luxury transportation, meeting the owners, and connecting with extraordinary car enthusiasts. Dave is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and writes for various publications. In addition to DriveWithDave.com, you can follow Dave's adventures via Drive With Dave Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and tune into the Drive with Dave Podcast via iTunes, Stitcher or Soundcloud.

One Comment

  1. Joshua October 26, 2013 at 11:15 PM - Reply

    Or someone could firmware hack it, could have fake plate #s or “always up-to-date” plates

Leave A Comment

Subscribe to be in the know!
You'll love our monthly updates.

You May Also Like…