Civic News
Municipal government / Transportation

Maryland is testing digital license plates

The two-year pilot is testing the plates on 22 state-owned vehicles.

Could Maryland license plates go digital? (Photo via

License plates that replace metal with a digital display are being tested in Maryland through a pilot program.

According to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA), the digital license plates are being evaluated over a two-year period. The state is working with digital license plate maker Reviver to see how the Silicon Valley-based Rplates work on state vehicles. This includes 20 fleet vehicles owned by the MVA and two by the Maryland Transportation Authority.

The MVA indicated Maryland is one of the first states on the East Coast to pursue a test. California, Michigan and Arizona allow drivers to use the digital license plates. They’re not currently legal in Maryland, but the pilot indicates there’s interest in exploring its use.

With its announcement Tuesday, the state agency looked to stress that the test means the technology “could” be coming to the state.

“At MDOT MVA, we are constantly evaluating emerging technologies in the transportation industry to find innovative ideas that could benefit our customers,” MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer said in a statement. “We are excited about the digital plate pilot and the potential of this technology to pave the way for additional customer convenience.”

Similar in size to the license plates used now, the digital plates are LTE-connected, and have technology that allows them to be updated automatically. One area where the MVA sees promise is in the area of registration. Instead of a sticker, the digital plate would allow for the info to be updated automatically. They could also display Amber Alerts, or indicate if a vehicle is stolen, per the state.

On Reviver’s website, the company lists two models for $349 plus $2.99/month or $499 plus $6.99/month. For the pilot, however, the license plates are being provided at no cost to the state.

“We look forward to partnering with the state to leverage the vast potential digital license plates offer for future innovation,” said Neville Boston, cofounder and chief executive officer of Reviver, in a statement.

Companies: State of Maryland

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