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ADOT testing digital license plates in Arizona

Posted at 4:36 AM, Apr 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-18 18:14:12-04

A license plate could be the very thing driving technology forward and it is being tested right here in Arizona. 

ADOT tells ABC15, they are working with the technology company "Reviver" to test digital license plates on about a dozen of their vehicles. 

ADOT spokesperson Doug Nick described it basically as an iPad that goes in place of the plate on the back of the vehicle. 

According to Reviver, Arizona is just one of two states that currently have these plates on the road - the other one being California. 

Nick said ADOT is always open to innovation and picking our state to test is a no-brainer, especially with our weather.  

"Arizona has always been a really good state for innovation," Nick explained. "Car companies have tested here for years to see how their vehicles perform, so it's not a stretch to say, 'Well, let's take a look at how some of the accessories, like a license plate. How does that perform on a vehicle?'" 

As testing continues, the goal is to go far beyond just displaying the plate. 

"You can update this [the license plate] and it has the capabilities of potentially having other functions on there... maybe messages that are of help to the public, like Amber Alerts," Nick said. "That might be something that could be done on this."

It could also alert police if a vehicle is stolen, if a registration tag is expired, or more consumer-focused items like displaying specialty plates. 

But, all of that is still in the early stages of testing. 

We also asked if this could save ADOT money with these plates, as Representative Michelle Ugenti-Rita introduced a bill into the state legislator this year that would eliminate vehicle registration stickers, possibly saving $1.8 million in labor and postage.

ADOT did not comment on the bill and said that they were unsure of what kind of money-saving aspects the technology could have yet. 

Nick said they have been testing it for less than a year and there is no set timeline on when the testing would stop or if it would expand.