California License Plates May go Digital and Show Ads to Increase the State's Revenue

As you most likely know, the State of California is in a dire budget crunch - $20 billion to be precise. And when there are financial difficulties, legislators tend to come up with all sorts of ideas to increase the State's revenue.

In California's case, Sen. Curren Price, D – Los Angeles, has proposed a bill that will allow the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to study the use of digital license plates that would flash ads and public service announcements when the vehicle is stopped for more than four seconds, whether in traffic or at a red light. However, at all times, the license plate number would remain visible in some section of the digital screen.

"The Department of Motor Vehicles, by virtue of its interaction with millions of California drivers and vehicle owners each year, represents a valuable resource to the state," the bill says.

"The department may consider the use and development of existing or emerging technologies for the creation of a digital electronic license plate for the purpose of generating revenue for the department and state."

Under the bill, the California DMV would have until January 1, 2013 to research digital number plates and submit its findings and recommendations including the amount of revenue they would raise and the impact on traffic safety to the Legislature.

"We're just trying to find creative ways of generating additional revenues," said Democratic Senator Curren Price. "It's an exciting marriage of technology with need, and an opportunity to keep California in the forefront."

Source: Mercury News