Are Digital License Plates Coming to New York?
The next step New York vehicle owners may be taking in the digital age involves a revolutionary new license plate. Welcome to the future.
Digital License Plates in New York State
Reviver, a company that launched back in 2009 has recently announced that its campaign to digitize license plates on cars and trucks was just approved by the state of Michigan. Michigan now joins California and Arizona as the only states (with one exception) that have approved the technology to date, but the company says they're "in the process" of approval with at least 10 others... is new York next?
What Is a Digital License Plate?
The plates created by Reviver offer several features that are absent from traditional metal plates. That may seem obvious since the new license plates are customizable digital screens instead of a stamped plate, but there are some interesting features you may not have considered. First, the plates can switch between "day" and "night" modes for visibility, depending on how bright it is outside. They also can display emergency messages, like Amber Alerts, that are sent from the state DMV. Additionally, they contain tracking systems if your car is ever stolen, and can even display a "stolen" message to alert other motorists or police.
The Downsides of Digital Plates
This shouldn't come as a surprise, but these plates aren't free. Unlike the standard license plates you would receive at the DMV, you are required to pay a subscription-based fee for the new plates, which can total over $1,000 for a four-year plan. Also, a benefit it offers of being able to digitally renew your registration can also come with the "downside" of the plate actively displaying when your registration is expired since the DMV essentially controls your license plate and the messages it broadcasts.
Digital Plates in the Hudson Valley, NY
Would you welcome the new technology in the Hudson Valley? On one hand, it would be helpful to avoid the DMV, which this system offers. My local office in Newburgh is so busy, you must make a reservation or else you won't be able to do any vehicle business, and on multiple occasions the armed guard in front of the building was less than pleasant, to put it nicely. That being said, over $250 a year to have something that could be interpreted as essentially an expensive vanity plate doesn't sound too appealing. I'd suggest adding E-ZPass capabilities since all of our Hudson Valley bridges now use cashless tolling, but then it'd probably get stolen. There may be a better application, though...
Digital License Plates for Commercial Vehicles
The "one exception" mentioned earlier referenced the fact that Texas recently joined the digital license plate wave, with one caveat: they only approved use for commercial vehicles. That seems like the perfect application. Not only would businesses be able to streamline registration for a fleet of vehicles, but they could also keep better tabs on their vehicles when they're out doing business. Plus, it seems like it would be great candidate for a tax write-off.
Want to take your license plate (analog or digital) on a road trip, check out some awesome New York destinations below, especially the world's largest kaleidoscope, which is just a short drive from the Hudson Valley.