South Carolina Studying Computer Networked Electronic License Plates

Thomas Kreutzer
by Thomas Kreutzer
south carolina studying computer networked electronic license plates

South Carolina’s WSPA TV is reporting that the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles is considering doing away with stamped metal plates and replacing them with new, electronic tags that would be linked to a central computer database. According to WSPA’s website, the new plates use “electronic paper” technology that can hold an image without power for up to 10 years. A clear coating on the plates could also generate small amounts of electricity, which would be required to change the image, from sunlight or even vibrations generated when a car is in motion.

The new plates would be linked to a central network and the image could be changed at the push of a button to alert law enforcement when the DMV receives notice that a car is stolen, uninsured, has expired tags or an when an operator’s license has been revoked. The DMV is quick to add that, while they would be able to receive signals, the electronic plates will not mount transmitters and cannot, therefore, be used to track a vehicle.

Currently, metal plates cost between $3 and 7$ to produce and the new plates are still more than $100. Despite the additional costs, South Carolina believes they will come out ahead as the new technology will help the state collect an estimated $150 million that the state loses each year to people who fail to renew their registrations. They also claim that consumers may also benefit from reduced insurance costs as uninsured drivers become easier for law enforcement officers to detect.

I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords and look forward to a better, brighter future in their service.

Thomas Kreutzer currently lives in Buffalo, New York with his wife and three children but has spent most of his adult life overseas. He has lived in Japan for 9 years, Jamaica for 2 and spent almost 5 years as a US Merchant Mariner serving primarily in the Pacific. A long time auto and motorcycle enthusiast he has pursued his hobbies whenever possible. He writes for any car website that will have him and enjoys public speaking. According to his wife, his favorite subject is himself.

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4 of 42 comments
  • Joeveto3 Joeveto3 on Jun 12, 2013

    Their concern and ingenuity when it comes to revenue enhancement is laughable when contrasted against their concern for more serious topics. I.e. when it comes to collecting our money, and finding new ways to collect our money, and finding new sources for collection, look out. These folks are brilliant, dedicated, and hard working. The other "stuff," education, crime, health, effectively and honestly managing the money so much.

    • See 1 previous
    • Cacon Cacon on Jun 12, 2013

      Remember that standard government procedure is to throw more money at any high profile social problem and/or create an idiotic law to "prevent it".

  • Jimbob457 Jimbob457 on Jun 13, 2013

    $100 versus $8 for a 'wonder' technology that can easily be undone with a little of the wife's clear nail polish applied in the right places?

  • Inside Looking Out All that is BS. Nissan just tries to buy time. By 2028 every Tesla will have fusion reactor under the hood. Commercial fusion reactor is under development as we speak 5 miles away from my home in Sandia labs in Livermore.
  • Lou_BC For some odd reason my new truck is more of a pain when it comes to incoming texts. I need data activated on phone and have it plugged into truck with Android Auto on. It doesn't work well with poor internet wireless access.The old Ford Sync system of 2010 vintage would play the text via a robotic voice and not allow a reply unless stopped. It was much more seamless and easier to work.
  • 28-Cars-Later Isn't that the Cayenne?
  • Kendahl I will look at my phone long enough to determine whether the caller is someone I really should talk to. If it is, I keep driving until I find a safe place to pull over before answering. If it isn't, to hell with them.I am greatly annoyed by people who sit at green traffic lights or drive well below the speed limit because they are focused on their phones instead of their driving. However, I don't express my frustration because (1) they don't think they're being inconsiderate and (2) may retaliate with road rage.
  • VoGhost What to name a car for people insecure about the size of their 'manhood'? Magnum. What do name a car for people insecure about their orientation? STR8. Nobody -- and I mean nobody -- knows their customer base like FCA/Stellantis.