Metaxas: License Plate Recognition Can Improve Originations

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

Aside from GPS-equipped starter interrupt systems, lenders have another tool to repossess a vehicle, with the added benefit of using the data obtained to acquire better contracts: license plate recognition.

According to Auto Remarketing, the CEO of Fort Worth, Texas-based Digital Recognition Network, Chris Metaxas, says his company’s LPR technology has found 55 percent of their customers’ assets up to 100 miles away from where the paperwork claimed the vehicle would have originally been. As most assets are with the lenders’ customers, any deviation from that is a red flag.

Thus, originators seeking to minimize risk could use LPR data to “determine the truth of a statement someone may make on an application,” in turn enhancing the process so better contracts are entered into a given portfolio:

If you think about what a bank does in translating risk mitigation into their ability to grow their book of business, the loans they write, the policies they write, it is substantial and is exponential. What you lose on the back end is only a fraction of what you write on the front end.

Earlier this year, DRN and another LPR company entered into a lawsuit against Utah governor Gary Herbert and attorney general Sean Reyes over First Amendment issues regarding legislation that prohibited such technology from being used to analyze the image of the license plate in question. The lawsuit is part of an ongoing battle between privacy advocates who claim the private data tied to a plate can have the potential to be abused, and by LPR proponents like DRN who believe license plate numbers contain no such thing, citing the public nature of the plate itself.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • Fincar1 Fincar1 on Oct 01, 2014

    A couple of states, including Connecticut, no longer issue validation stickers for license plates. They apparently think that the cops with their plate readers can find all they need to know simply from the plate number. I don't think we are far from a time when scanners will be able to read VIN's directly without bothering with license plates.

    • Krhodes1 Krhodes1 on Oct 01, 2014

      Even if a cop doesn't have a plate reader, they can still just type the plate number into the application on the laptop in the cop car, or radio it in for a check. Not having stickers saves the state a lot of money. And it does make it at least a little harder for cops to nail you for an expired registration. I doubt every cop in CT has a plate scanner yet. There are only a handful of them in the entire state of Maine at this time. Portland has 2-3 cruisers with them, I think the Staties have a few. I will note - you see those 2-3 in the bad parts of town almost exclusively. That is where the easy hunting is going to be. And yes, Portland Maine does actually have bad parts of town!

  • Sjalabais Sjalabais on Oct 01, 2014

    Just a technical issue: Why can I reply to some comments, and not to others? Screenshot with missing reply-button: Newest/updated Firefox on Win8

    • See 1 previous
    • Sjalabais Sjalabais on Oct 03, 2014

      @Drzhivago138 Hey, thanks! That's a very inefficient system. Any plans on getting the comment system upgraded to this millenium?

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Oct 01, 2014

    It seems to me that the problem is the state, or some other group, selling the data on what tag number is you. I actually can't think of anyone that I need to give that data to except someone who needs it for parking lot security. If you want privacy, make it illegal to provide or sell owner info for anything other than a tight list of uses. It's actually the case that my insurer doesn't even need the tag number, he needs the VIN.

  • JaySeis JaySeis on Oct 01, 2014

    1.8 billion plates read. Sweet. No wonder traffics a B.