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California tests digital license plates

Borrowing technology from e-book readers, the plates are expected to cost around $699 and carry a monthly fee.

California drivers might soon be able to buy a 'digital' license plate to replace their traditional stamped-metal tag.

The electronic plates employ technology developed for e-book readers, with a digital display that can switch between vehicle identification information and other content.

Sacramento is reportedly the first US city to launch a pilot program, ordering a few dozen plates for its municipal vehicle fleet. The plates will be manufactured by Bay Area-based Reviver Auto.

"The purpose of the pilot is to identify and detail potential benefits, so we are still in the evaluation phase and won't make any determinations until the pilot concludes," a DMV spokesman told The Sacramento Bee.

The state will soon allow auto dealerships to begin selling the plates, with expected prices of around $699 plus a $7/month recurring fee.