Electronic California Plates Would Flash Ads

In the ongoing effort to cram ad space onto every last inch of the planet, the California Legislature has introduced a bill that would call for research into using electronic license plates.

The high-tech plates being developed by Smart Plate aren’t ready for production yet, but in theory, the state would sell advertising space on the plates. When the vehicle is moving, the license plate number would be displayed just like a normal one, but when the car is stopped for longer than 4 seconds, the plate would begin flashing an ad. The number would remain visible in a small portion of the plate.

The bill, introduced by Democratic state Sen. Curren Price of Los Angeles, would primarily be a revenue generator. California is trying to close a cavernous $19 billion budget gap, though it’s unclear if the plates could be ready for distribution this year — not that the Golden State won’t likely be in dire financial straits next year as well.

It will be interesting to see if law enforcement has any objections. After all, a metal plate cannot short out and go blank, and if it can be illegal to obscure part of your license plate, why would it be OK for the plate number to shrink to make way for a pop-up promising “Shockingly low prices at online penny auctions”?

Calif. Lawmakers Consider Electronic License Plates That Can Show Ads as State Deficit Looms (Los Angeles Times)

By Stephen Markley | June 22, 2010 | Comments (8)
Tags: In The News



This is a rotten idea. Let me ask where the electricity is going to come from to power these plates? If it comes from the owner's car then is the owner going to be compensated?

I don't care how little gas it ends up using. Even one gram a year is too much as it is MINE and not the governments!

I do not even allow dealerships to put their logos on my new cars. That is advertising that they must pay me for if they wish to use MY car as their ad space.

What is my compensation from the government for allowing ads to be placed on my car? I certainly will not allow them to use that space for free.


Oh hell no.


I would put them on my car if I am going to get at least 50% of the Ad revenue!!! $$$$


What a great idea. I'm sure advertisers will be thrilled to see their product on the back of a car thats just run over a little kid. And you know that will be all over the interwebs!


This is the type of revenue generating crap you get because the lib politicians in Sacramento can't stop spending. CA is clearly the worst run state. I'm sure the trial lawyers will endorse this product since they're in the back pocket of the Donkey party. It'll just lead to more lawsuits as if attorney's need more money to line their pockets with. Government is way out of control!


How about damaging one? On purpose.

Or hacking one to display different number?

This reeks with desperation.

But it's hilarious.



Paging George Orwell, you are needed.

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