Does it make sense for states to offer digital license plates? For high-priced cars that could be the target of thieves, these plates could help recover the vehicles when stolen and give owners a chance at getting their car back.
For car owners looking to be on the cutting edge of technology and enjoy some of the most recent improvements in the market, digital plates seem like a solid idea. These plates are offered in three states right now with Michigan being the latest to join Arizona and California as the only three states that offer these plates.
A Decade of Possible Functionality
The functionality of digital plates has been around for more than ten years but its not been widely used at all. These places use e-ink with mobile data to allow vehicles to be tracked and offer some impressive features. With a digitized version of the license plate a car registration can automatically be renewed and an owner can change the status of the vehicle to stolen if it is. This new plate also allows the vehicle to be tracked and the data being used can only be turned on an off by the owner of the car.
Safe and Secure Data
The maker of digital license plates, Reviver Auto claims that all the data for the plate is safe and secure. All transmissions are fully encrypted and sent using 4G and 5G networks. The mounting is said to be secure and tamper-proof making it nearly impossible for thieves to steal the plate. Of course, if you don’t like seeing the hardware of the plate showing through, you might not want to learn how this plate is secured onto the vehicle that you drive. Once you get to the cost, you might not want to put this plate on your car.
The Cost is a Lot More than You Expect
A digital license plate is not offered in the three states using this system as part of a regular registration process. The initial cost for this pate reaches nearly $600, and that’s just for the plate. The battery-powered model is a little cheaper than the hard-wired version. Both models cost a little more every year and cost even more to have them installed. These plates also require a subscription which can be paid monthly or for four years all at once.
Compared to the price of a regular registration, which includes a typical metal plate, these digital models are extremely expensive.
States Don’t Receive Any Benefits
Only Reviver Auto benefits financially from a driver selecting a digital license plate. States don’t receive any revenue for these items, which might be one reason they aren’t pushed very hard. This could become a bit of a problem if these plates are offered in all states. If you choose not to pay the installation costs you can receive the instructions from the company, but once you see them, $150 won’t sound too bad when you want to have your digital plate installed on your vehicle.
Will more states begin to offer these digital plates? Even if they do, many drivers likely won’t want to install them because they can be extremely expensive.
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