Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Digital license plates could be available in Florida soon

Posted By on Wed, May 9, 2018 at 4:43 PM

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with comments from Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

A California technology company says digital license plates could soon be available in the Sunshine State, though Florida officials say no such deal is in place. 

NBC News reports Reviver Auto has developed wireless electronic license plates it calls Rplate Pro that have "monochromatic digital ink screens," similar to a Kindle screen.

The plates can be customized to support causes, charities or sports teams. People can also add DMV-approved personal messages like "Don’t Drink and Drive" or "My Child Is an Honor Student." In the future, the plates might also display emergency information, like AMBER Alerts or weather advisories. The best feature, though, is that drivers can renew their plates online – no more waiting at the DMV or replacing the sticker every year.

The technology is expensive, though, and some argue the digital plates could be easy for hackers to access. NBC News reports the plates retail for $699, plus $7.75 every month for computer software.

Rplates are already available in California. Reviver Auto says it has reached licensing agreements to bring the plates to states like Florida, Arizona and Texas.

However, a spokesperson for the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles says no pilot program for Reviver Auto's digital license plates is currently in place.

"The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has no agreement with the company," says Alexis Bakofsky, deputy communications director for the department.

Orlando Weekly reached out to the California company for clarification and will update this story when more information is available.

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