California rolls out digital license plate pilot program

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The first digital license plates are rolling out in California.

Sacramento launched the pilot program last week -- the first in the state to do so, according to the Sacramento Bee. Arizona has recently tested digital plates as well.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles is teaming up with the digital plates' maker, Reviver Auto, to begin marketing them for sale at auto dealerships.

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There was a heated debate Tuesday night over privacy versus safety in Alameda. People spoke out against license plate-tracking cameras, while police assured them they're for the greater good.

The digital license plates allow drivers to register their cars electronically and gives them the option to display custom message -- like "stolen" or vital Amber Alert information. If the DMV allows it, the plate could also show personal messages when the vehicle is not in motion.

The plates aren't cheap. Dealerships are expected to sell the plates for $699, not including installation costs. Users also must pay a monthly fee of about $7. The plates are not available through the Department of Motor Vehicles.

California, which has been quietly prepping its roll-out this year, is the first state to try out the new plates.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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