California considering electronic license plates

September 9, 2013

10758265-redflag-digital-display-license-platesA bill that passed the California legislature last week would create a pilot program introducing electronic license plates that authorities could remotely access. [Mashable]

Electronic license plates are not yet in circulation in the U.S., but states such as New Jersey and South Carolina are also considering introducing them.

SB 806, introduced by San Diego Democratic Senator Ben Hueso, would allow the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue electronic license plates to .5 percent of registered motorists until January 1, 2017.

If Governor Jerry Brown signs the bill, DMV officials will have access to technology that will allow them to remotely post alerts on license plates indicating the car has been stolen or the driver is uninsured or has a suspended license.

Opponents of the bill raise privacy concerns, while supporters suggest electronic license plate implementation would save money by eliminating the cost of mailing license plate tags.



I need to see if C+A+DEL is already taken… “ERR0R” hehe.

(that’s control + alt + delete for you non-wind0ze folks).


Sweet! One more thing to hack!

Like “smart meters” and cellphones! Woohoo! Hackers Paradise!

Jorge Estrada

With electronic plates it will be much easier to lay-off traffic law enforcement. They will be replaced by traffic data transponders that will retreive your vehicle history and if needed, email citations to the registered owner. This will assure that the vehicle owners assume full responsibility for the use of their vehicle. Fully automated funding will be a big savings and help cover the rising pension costs. At a later date chipping everyone so that everything you come into contact will be appropriately recognized and funded.

No chip will be the same as no SSN.


The unions will never allow the employees to be removed, in fact they will get raises due to the risk of job loss or some such nonsense.

Jorge Estrada

My technically doable brain tease is just that but as far as unions disallowing employees to be replaced by technology, that I know intimately. I am the remaining crew of 1 that was previously a crew of 25, a very similar product of the previous brain tease where technology displaced people. It is very real as is technology having self awareness.


The problem with you math is that you may be the only one left in your crew but the other 24 are still getting a salary, thanks to bloated pensions, the issue is they don’t have to go into the office any more only you have to report to work, thank your union for that, I’m sure you will as soon as you retire


I believe that opponents have some reasonable objections, and one not mentioned here so far is the possibility that DMV employees would be able to track your car, plot your speed and possibly lead into remote citations for driving too fast among other potential uses. If these devices are hooked up via radio waves, what about EMF radiation, like some complain about smart meters? And then there is the potential for GPS tracking; government databases would be able to pinpoint the location of your vehicle at any given moment (which not to say they don’t already if you already have a GPS or a smart phone).

I say these devices open us all up for all sorts of potentially invasive monitoring, as well as someone already mentioned getting the device hacked into. No thanks.


I knew given enough time, sooner or later there would have to be a subject Bob and I could both agree on. Yea I felt the same way about every thing you stated.


I wonder how long it will take for a 14-year old to hack the electronic licenses?


Here is some other things to think about. Right now your lic. plate is pretty boring so no stupid punk is going to mess with it. Now you get this and are parked somewhere and some stupid prick who thinks it’s funny smashes the thing in. Will the state pay to replace something that is probably not going to be cheap??


A stupid punk can already easily smash lots of different parts of your car and cost you thousands of dollars. Compared to the typical replacement car part these days, the license plate would be a steal even at $100 a piece.

Niles Q

I suppose when it rains the damn thing will crash and the license plate go down.

Shoot the DMV is the most incompetent agency in California’s State government. Do NOT put those dipshits in charge of ANYTHING.


oh, it’s a boondoggle allright.maybe they could put the plates on bullet trains. we’re getting our face ground off in the asphalt


“San Diego Democratic Senator Ben Hueso” what other stoopid thing(s) has he proposed? Doesn’t look like that plate is big enough to spell anything; even DRUNK. (or stoopid in some people’s case) Since the plate can’t spell out “no insurance” what would it say?………


I don’t know if he is, as you say, “stoopid” or perhaps just has a personal or political financial interest in a company that stands to profit from such “innovation.” I guess we’ll know for sure if the proposal passes and some company in his district gets the contract to make or monitor the plates.

If the proposed plates are what I suspect they are, they could indeed spell out “no insurance” or anything else the DMV or CHP or local hacker wants them to spell. Of course, for clarity, they could just have a code on them like Dw/oI for “Driving without Insurance.”

This is one thing both Liberals and Conservatives can agree to oppose. Let’s see how long that lasts before the political manipulators manage to convince one side or the other to change their minds about it.


When they are trying to get us to unplug wall-warts to save juice, they’re talking about POWERED license plates? And of course, YOU will be paying for the power. It may seem insignificant, until you are talking about millions of cars using them simultaneously.

STUPID idea.


What else do you expect here in California?, we never seem to lack “stupid ideas”, in fact most of them our legislators vote into law