Digital License Plates: Where We Are, What’s Coming Next

February 2, 2024

Since Reviver won approval to put the RPLATE digital license plate on the road in 2016, the vehicle tech space hasn’t changed. Using a digital license plate represents an exciting breakthrough in auto technology for one primary reason — it’s a chance to upgrade one of your car’s most standardized, frozen-in-time pieces. A digital license plate delivers easy registration, dynamic customization, and more, all within the same small space that a traditional metal license plate would take up.

The popularity of digital license plates is at a tipping point today, with individual car owners in three states able to purchase RPLATE devices and commercial fleet owners in a fourth also able to use them. The years ahead promise to continue the momentum, with at least 10 states working on legislation to allow digital license plate use.

Reviver has led the way through this first near-decade, with RPLATE serving as the primary digital license plate option for vehicles of all kinds. At this time, it’s worth taking stock of how far digital license plates have come and their future in terms of technology and legalization.

The State-by-State Rollout: What’s Next?

Since each state legalizes digital license plates separately, the question is always: when will my state allow RPLATE sales? As of now, you can buy a digital license plate in:

  • Arizona.
  • California.
  • Michigan.
  • Texas, only for commercial vehicles.

As for the rest of the country, here’s what’s on the docket:

Up next:

  • Colorado: Legislation passed through the rules and regulations process in 2022.
  • Georgia: Legislation has passed through rules and regulations. Discussion is currently ongoing with the tolling authority.
  • Illinois: The Illinois bill made it through rules and regulations in 2019.

And then:

  • Maryland: A pilot project is currently underway.
  • New Jersey: Legislation was introduced in 2022.
  • New York: Progress is underway on introducing legislation.
  • North Carolina: Legislation passed in 2019.
  • Ohio: A plan to introduce legislation in the 2025 session is in place.
  • Pennsylvania: The state is running a pilot program.
  • Washington: Work is ongoing to introduce legislation.

In these states, the movement to put digital license plates on the road is a matter of moving step by step through the legal process, rather than engaging in debate or changing regulators’ minds. Institutional support for the plates is strong from state to state.

As more state legislatures take on the question of digital license plate legalization, the plates are hitting the roads in the states that have already legalized them. Once issued in an approved state, the plates are legal to drive anywhere in the country.

How Are Digital License Plates Getting on the Road?

From month to month, the chances are growing that you’ll see an RPLATE device on the road. So far, some of the biggest users of these technology tools include the owners of commercial fleets. Big organizations, especially those based in single states and able to convert all their vehicles simultaneously, have seen real value in going digital.

RPLATE delivers real progress for these fleet owners because of the way it digitizes everyday tasks, making them quicker and more efficient than ever. A company using fleet management software and digital license plates together can unlock the productivity benefits of simple, remote registration renewal. Other benefits include geofencing, which allows tracking trucks without installing extra hardware.

Of course, digital license plates aren’t just for commercial vehicle owners. If you’re an individual car owner in Arizona, California, or Michigan who wants an RPLATE, you can simply order one — including through the official Ford accessory catalog.

The alliance between Reviver and the automaker shows how far digital license plate technology has come relatively quickly. RPLATE has received Ford’s official approval, marking it as a device ready for primetime.

What Features Are Rolling Out to Digital Plates?

Digital license plates do everything metal plates do and more, adding handy features that improve your driving experience. The list of capabilities is constantly growing, powered by wireless firmware updates, so early adopters don’t have to replace their plates to reap the benefits.

Recent developments in the digital license plate space include:

  • All-new versions: There’s a new version of RPLATE on the market. Instead of hooking into your car’s electrical system for power, the battery-powered RPLATE uses a replaceable battery designed to last five years without a change. The battery-powered RPLATE’s simple design allows you to install it yourself at home, without needing professional assistance.
  • Extra customization options: Custom messaging on your RPLATE lets you show your personality. This includes setting a short text message and adjusting between light and dark mode. Support for emojis on custom license plates has already rolled out in California.

The future promises to bring new, exciting functionality for the RPLATE, as larger systems interact with the RPLATE. What could this mean? Some of the features under investigation right now include:

  • Parking payments are carried out via the RPLATE.
  • RPLATE acts as a transponder for toll payments.
  • The ability to quickly change registration after moving to a new state.

An RPLATE on your car is an extra piece of technology that can securely send and receive data over LTE networks. Developers are constantly exploring new uses for that handy touchpoint.

An Exciting Time for Vehicle Technology

Enthusiasm is building for digital license plate adoption and use. This is most obvious to the Reviver team when we’re on the show floor at industry events where regulators, car manufacturers, and technology providers meet. These groups are coming together to push digital license plates into the mainstream and put them on the road in increasing number of states.

When you use an RPLATE, you’re refreshing a piece of your car that has stayed the same for 100 years. While pressed metal was the technology of its time, it’s the tough but sophisticated digital license plate that will carry drivers into the future.

Want to learn much more about the RPLATE? Here’s what you need to know.