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Digital License Plates Coming To Michigan In 2021, Other States To Follow

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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.

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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.

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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.

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We’ll have more on this interesting technology soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for 24/7 Ford news coverage.

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Written by Brett Foote

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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19 Comments

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  1. I don’t see any value for the customer in these, other than showing the stolen car message. But so many vehicles have GPS anyways I’m not sure it helps that much. So then does the state pick up the tab on the cost to be able to have the ability to broadcast messages? I have a hard time seeing the state or the customer wanting to pay for this with the limited value. If you could make it display custom messages when parked (show a sports logo or something) then I could see people wanting it.

  2. i cant believe there is a subscription fee associated with it. You can buy a digital photo frame for a $100 and get the same job done. Just another thing to get fined over…Battery goes dead whoopsie heres your fine. Most screens dont fare well sitting out in the sun either. Whats wrong with a bit of stamped sheet metal and a little paint? now youve gotta introduce circuit boards, glass, LED screens, plastic, electrical connections, etc. Doesnt seem worth the hassle, and certainly not worth the cost.

    • Us older folks 80 + yrs. old have enough things to worry about so we can continue to drive safely & pass driving test. We don’t need more any more devices to have monitor or report out on! Old dogs have a lot of difficulty with new & more tricks! Please reconsider! 👎🏻

  3. This is ridiculous, like everyone wants spend too much time on tablets, phone??, besides more money to spend for this dumb idea..what is wrong with these government agencies???

  4. I was hoping this might be a way to just get rid of the front plate. Nineteen states don’t require one; I live in one of the thirty one others. Supposedly a Tesla’s range drops 7% having that brick on the front. I’d think the environuts would demand this.

  5. I won’t have one until I’m forced into it. Just more tech for the sake of tech.

    I’m sure that when enough state reps are bought off, we’ll all have these gimmicks whether wanted or not.

  6. I have have had this license plate for a year now it’s awesome. Besides the point that it’s a great conversational piece living in a town that has a high rate of crime and car theft it makes me feel secure because if anything jars my car or anything it notifies my phone if somebody steals my car I could hit the stolen button and the whole license plate turns into the word stolen and sends it the GPS coordinates to the cops and it gives me a great Peace of mind along with you can put cool little sayings on the bottom like happy birthday or promote your company also it has features like it will tell you how many miles you go and it will tell you the location of your car in case you forgot where you parked it or if you’re using valet you can make certain areas that your car is allowed to go to and if it goes out of this area and notifies you it’s an awesome plate. The people that own and run this company are very nice their customer service is very attentive and do anything to make sure the customer is happy I accidentally got it thinking it was a joke on Facebook and it only cost me $17 in the beginning they installed it for free the license plate was free I got the upgraded service which had the valet the Geo conferencing and other cool little features I pay 19 bucks a month 19 bucks a month and it gives me cheaper in car insurance and a piece of mind that my car is safe, along with interactions and meeting new people because everybody asks me about my plate and they give you a nifty little card to carry with you in case you know the cops have any questions or anything it’s a great invention can’t wait until there’s more cool things we can do with it and everybody else gets it

    • Whats preventing a thief from removing the digital license plate or smashing the screen? A screwdriver and 45 seconds later it’s gone. And a regular gps free license plate in it’s place.

      • Good points. And does anybody pay serious attention to a car alarm going off now? So the Digital plate flashes “stolen” will anyone bother to report it, or will it just be- “meh.. probably just broken or the owner is just being cute…”

  7. a 3 mph bump into a garage wall will be very costly, and make it illegal to drive until it is repaired.
    One more thing for the bored kids to vandalize.

  8. Not interested, we pay way too much for licensing now and the money is wasted. License Numbers should be like Vehicle Identification Numbers(VIN) and be permanently part of each vehicle. The vehicle is registered and licensed at the time of be manufactured. No need for license bureaus.

  9. This little trinket appears to be scratching an itch that doesn’t exist. Like why? Does it stay on when the vehicle is turned off? Will it kill the battery over a long time? Hackers will have a field day with these things.

  10. $400 buy in, plus an annual free on top of our already too high licensing fees in The People’s Republic of California?

    No thanks. Here is what is next, they will record your mileage and location and tax you based on that. On a crowded freeway? $10, drive 25,000 miles in a year? $500, go over the speed limit by 5mph? $1200.

  11. Let’s see, it involves ridiculous costs and fees. Translation–states with Democrat governors will most likely mandate it in the next decade or so.

  12. What a great option for Q to provide to the next James Bond, change your plate state and numbers at will (with the right software hack).

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