Like most things regulated by government agencies, license plates have been slow to evolve over the years. These days, most of us still have the same old stamped metal plate on our vehicles, and if we’re lucky, perhaps one with a personalized message or unique design. But it appears that big changes are on the horizon, as digital license plates are slowly gaining approval in certain states.
As of right now, only two states allow digital license plates – California and Arizona. However, now Michigan is set to join them beginning in the second quarter of 2021. Roughly 8-10 additional states appear set to approve the digital license plates next year, including Georgia and Texas. But the company that makes these special plates – Reviver – has been pushing this legislation since it first launched in 2009.
Reviver’s Rplate is essentially what it sounds like – a digital screen that requires installation and is capable of displaying license plate information. But the Rplate also allows owners to display other approved messages that can range from letting others know a car has been stolen to displaying Amber alerts.
Even better, users can pay their annual registration fees to Reviver rather than dealing with the DMV. The downside, of course, is cost – a five-year battery-operated Rplate runs around $400, and then Reviver charges a subscription fee of either $4.95 a month or $55 per year, or $17.95 a month for 36 months for the whole package.
Opt for the more powerful wired RPlate Pro, which features a built-in GPS system and telematics options, and the cost rises to $599 and $75 a year, or $599 and $6.99 per month, or a flat payment of $24.95 per month for 36 months.
As of right now, 4,000 RPlates are in use in California and Arizona, but that number figures to increase exponentially once the digital plates gain approval in other states. Eventually, Reviver also hopes to see cars come equipped with its plates from the factory, and also plans on partnering with dealership groups and commercial fleets to expand its sales.