RadioOnFire.com - Metal license plates may become a thing of the past as Maryland tests technology of the future in the digital age.
The Motor Vehicle Administration is testing 22 digital license plates on its fleet vehicles as part of a two-year pilot program.
The plates automatically show registration updates, so no physical sticker is needed.
"You renew your registration, and you now have two more years. You've got to go out and physically put a sticker on that plate. This has the ability to update and provide that information on the display," MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer said.
The plate is similar in size to traditional plates but features an electronic display, that can tell law enforcement if the vehicle is stolen
"The [plate can tell law enforcement if the] vehicle is stolen. When it comes to public safety issues, whether it's an Amber Alert, a Silver Alert, or just a weather incident, it also has the ability to display that information," Nizer said. "It's good for law enforcement. It's also good for our residents because they're aware of different incidents that are going on."
Maryland is one of a handful of states to give the plates a test drive.
"It has been tested in some other states, but we're one of the first on the East Coast. Certainly weather conditions and how well they stand up is something that will be tested as part of the pilot," Nizer said.
The department is working with digital license plate manufacturer Reviver to test its Rplate. The technology updates information electronically.
"Obviously, the results of the pilot will determine what we do in terms of next steps, but we want to make sure it works well for law enforcement, at our toll facilities, and all of the places tags are read today," Nizer said.
Michigan's digital license plates cost between $499 for the basic version and $799 for the premium version with GPS, plus a $7 monthly fee. California and Arizona are the other two states to offer the technology. Reviver is providing the test plates to Maryland at no charge.