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The following is for informational purposes only

What Are Digital License Plates?

The talk of digital license plates has become quite common in recent years. Since introducing the idea a few years ago, the thought of these plates taking over has become realistic. Digital license plates provide an automatic renewal and allow for customization.

Reviver Auto introduced the RPlate product in 2018, the first digital license plate. Later in the year, California became the first state to approve these plates. Currently, digital plates are available in California, Michigan, Arizona, Texas, and 50 other states. Here is some information about digital and electronic license plates and their differences.

What Is a Digital License Plate?

The concept of digital plates has been developing since 2009, when Reviver sought to revitalize license plates. However, this idea became a reality in 2018 when California first approved digital license plates. These plates are customizable and trackable, making renewing registrations easier. The company says digital plates allow greater convenience and control over regular plates.

Besides, it is easier to register and renew digital license plates due to the digitization of the processes. The plates come with a monochromatic HD display to display your plate. The display also keeps you updated on your registration expiry date. For those wondering what a digital license plate looks like, it is the same as a standard plate — the difference lies in the digitization and design.

Digital license plates are powered by a battery or wired directly into your vehicle's electrical system. If you use a battery to power your digital license plate, expect it to last about five years. After that, you will have to replace it.

How Do Digital License Plates Work?

Digital or electronic license plates have an effective working formula that makes them reliable. As mentioned earlier, Reviver Auto, a California-based company, is the brain behind digital license plates. After their introduction in California, car owners were allowed to choose between standard, battery-powered, and more advanced license plates. The battery-powered one is RPlate Battery, while the advanced one is RPlate Wired.

To understand how the digital license plate works, you should comprehend the design and methodology behind these two models. The RPlate Battery is easier to use than the advanced one. It supports easy installation, allowing car owners to install the license plate. If you need to learn how to install one, refer to Revivers's support team or their custom app. The digital license plate can last up to 50,000 miles. Remember that the RPlate Battery runs on its power source and might not need the vehicle's power. RPlate Wire is different mainly because it is more advanced. A professional will need to wire it to your vehicle's power supply correctly.

Digital license plates usually perform the same functions as physical plates. They display the vehicle's license plate and make it easy to identify it even in the dark. Apart from this primary function, digital license plates can also:

  • Allow car owners to see and pay road tolls and parking tickets automatically
  • Display amber alerts when one gets too close to the vehicle
  • Monitor car mileage and estimated emissions
  • Allow car owners to update their car registration displayed on the license plate instantly

How To Activate a Digital License Plate

After you receive your new digital license plate, there are several steps you need to take before finally installing it. First, download an app from Google Play Store or Apple Store. Afterward, create an account and register your digital license plate number via the app. You will need your driver's license and registration card to activate the digital plate. Both of these documents must be available for the plate to be approved. After completing this process, Reviver Auto says you should wait for the DMV's approval before installing it. Registration may take 1-3 days, depending on the demand. Wait to install the digital license before you get permission from your local DMV.

Information Obtained From a Digital License Plate

Digital license plates come with many benefits, especially if you prefer automation. Unlike regular plates, you do not have to worry about the security of your registration stickers. Even better, newer vehicles with advanced technology have sensors that transmit information regarding engine performance. Thanks to digital license plates, you can sync this information, allowing you to know when your engine requires service and other maintenance.

Some license plates come with GPS for in-dash directions and maps you can access anytime. Such automation allows you to determine how fast you are driving, your location, and the condition of your car during the drive. Advanced digital plates come with sophisticated GPS information and can be programmed to transmit to other receivers, making tracking your vehicle and movement easy. Also, data obtained through digital license plates help you monitor your vehicle's activity remotely!

Which States allow Digital License Plates

CaliforniaYesThe state is currently running a pilot for California's Digital ID Project. The plan is expected to roll out in the near future.
ArizonaYesDrivers in Arizona are currently using the Mobile ID app. The app was developed by tech company Idemia and available for Apple Wallet.
ColoradoYesDigital licenses were legalized in 2019. Since then, the state has been accepting them using the myColorado digital app. The platform is also available for Apple Wallet.
ConnecticutYesThe state government is currently working with Apple to create digital IDs that work with the Apple Wallet. At the moment, digital licenses are not yet available,
DelawareYesThe state of Delaware is currently using the mobile ID app for its operations. Tech company Idemia developed the app.
FloridaYesThere is a pilot running for the Florida Smart ID. The project is in its advanced stages and expected to be rolled out in the near future
GeorgiaYesThe state became one of the earliest to legalize digital licenses. It is also among the first states in the country to introduce compatibility with Apple Wallet.
IowaYesThe state government is working with Apple to develop virtual IDs that work with the Apple wallet. With everything in advanced stages the Iowa Mobile ID will be rolled out soon.
KentuckyYesAfter legalizing digital license plates, Kentucky is working with Apple to develop virtual IDs compatible with the Apple Wallet. Like in other several other states, the project has not been rolled out yet.
LouisianaYesThe state launched the LA Wallet app in 2018. The app provides a digital driver license accepted by state police.
MarylandYesYou can use Maryland's digital licensing platform known as Maryland Mobile ID available for Apple Wallet.
New JerseyYesThe state of New Jersey is currently working with Apple to create virtual IDs that are compatible with the Apple Wallet. The project will be rolled out soon upon completion.
OhioYesThe state government is working with Apple to develop virtual IDs that are compatible with Apple Wallet. The project hasn't been rolled out yet.
OklahomaYesThe state has a mobile ID app developed by Idemia. Digital licenses are also legalized in the state.
UtahYesUtah state government is currently using the Get Mobile ID app which was developed by GET Group North America. It is also working with Apple to create a digital licensing app compatible with Apple Wallet.

How Much Is a Digital License Plate?

Reviver Auto is the only company making digital license plates in the United States. Therefore, the cost of a digital license plate varies based on the company's policies. With time, states that have approved digital plates will start allowing new manufacturers to produce and sell digital license plates. Most car owners feel Reviver plates are expensive despite their efficiency. They go for $499 plus $55 per year for basic models or $599 plus $75 for premium models. As the demand for digital plates increases, more players will enter the market, and prices will reduce slightly. Digital plates have yet to take the industry by storm due to their relatively high prices.

So, should you get a digital license plate? To answer the question, it is best to determine whether a digital plate will improve your experience. For instance, if the ability to instantly pay tolls and parking tickets or renew your registration makes your life easier, then you should consider getting a digital license plate. Exploring the pros and cons of these plates will make it easier for you to make an informed decision.

Digital License Plates Are the Way of the Future

Digital license plates are slowly becoming popular. They are automated and come with several benefits. Besides displaying your vehicle's license plate number, digital plates also help keep other drivers alert (displaying amber lights) and monitor car mileage, among other functions.

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