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California legalizes digital license plates: Here’s how it works

FOX 11

By Alexa Mae Asperin

LOS ANGELES - Digital license plates for both private and commercial vehicles are now legal in California. 

The bill signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom permits the California Department of Motor Vehicles "to establish a program authorizing an entity to issue alternatives to stickers, tabs, license plates, and registration cards" for vehicles in the state.

Right now, only one company makes digital license plates, California-based Reviver. 

"Californians are known to be early adopters of emerging innovative technologies. We welcome new opportunities to automate and integrate as many parts of our lives as possible, enabling us to streamline mundane tasks and stay connected. Our cars are no exception," said Reviver co-founder and chief strategy officer Neville Boston. 

According to Reviver, its digital license plates (RPlates) are legal for sale in California, Arizona, and Michigan and legal for commercial vehicles only in Texas. Colorado, Florida, Georgia, and Illinois are all in various stages of piloting digital plates.

Previously, the digital plates were only available to select Californians as part of a pilot program. 

Reviver says it is working on more features for the digital license plates, including family services and alerts, stolen car reporting, tolling system integration, vehicle diagnostic and maintenance alerts, and additional DMV transactions and parking payment services integration. 

Keep in mind, though, it comes at a price. You must subscribe to a monthly/yearly program with Reviver. It will cost you $19.95 a month for 48 months, or you can fork over $215.40 a year for the same four-year period. That's a total of $861.60. The hardwired commercial plate can be had for $24.95/month or $275.40 for four years.

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