What Do Smart License Plates and Their Data Mean for Consumers?

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California is the first U.S. state to begin a trial of digital license plates and is focusing on Sacramento for the test. Statistics from late May found that only 116 cars in California have the high-tech plates so far. However, under the pilot program’s rules, that number could rise to approximately 175,000 — equaling one half of 1 percent of the total cars in the state.

The DMV Doesn’t Offer Them

The new plates reportedly include batteries and computer chips and use the same technology as Amazon Kindle devices. Also, instead of metal components, these car attachments have screens covered with a protective material. However, those are not the only characteristics that set these plates apart from conventional license plates.

Drivers will not be able to order the plates from their nearest Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) locations. Instead, they’ll have to go to participating dealerships to buy the plates and get them installed.

The cost for the plate itself should be around $699, plus whatever dealers decide to charge for installation. Drivers who opt for the digital license plates will also pay a monthly subscription fee of approximately $7.

What Can the Plates Do?

The Sacramento government recently received 24 Chevrolet Bolt vehicles equipped with …

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