North Carolina House Bill 211 just announced exciting news that may impact you and may even make updating your car registration a breeze.

In the bill, the North Carolina Joint Legislative Transportation Oversight Committee is now tasked with studying the feasibility of making digital license plates available to the public as an alternative traditional physical registration plates currently issued by the Division of Motor Vehicles. The bill states, “the Committee shall report its findings, together with any recommended legislation, to the 2020 Regular Session of the 2019 General Assembly”.

Now, technology is entering every facet of our lives, but what are the benefits and the potential consequences of this new technology?

Shorter Lines at the DMV

With the ability to pay for your registration online, the digital license plate can automatically update your registration. This will drastically impact the time needed to be spent at the DMV, leaving lines shorter, and a more convenient experience.

Easier to Identify Hit-and-Run

This innovation could potentially reduce the chances of a criminal fleeing the scene if a vehicle is in an accident or associated with a crime. In these situations, the plate could emit a signal of collision or crime, directly identifying the vehicle’s involvement. If not identified at the scene, the license plate would be able to hold the information in memory and display a digital alert. The advanced technology in electronic license plates could give more certainty in these cases instead of attempting, after the fact, to capture a potentially distorted image of the fleeing vehicle.

Damaged Plates and Insurance

Although this innovation seems to have a lot of benefits, it comes at a cost. Digital license plates are new to the market, so the price tag is still steep. The deciding factor for many car owners to invest in this technology may be if car insurance companies consider the digital license plate an anti-theft device and offer a discount when you install one. Also, what happens if the license plate gets damaged in an accident? Insurance companies will need to develop new policies to aid in assisting customers as these technologies emerge.

Safer Roadways

These license plates will be developed in accordance with privacy regulations, and individuals may only reference information from an electronic license plate for legal purposes. The information in these license plates have the potential to be acquired, which could include the vehicle’s speed and position. This information will be useful for patrolling highways, to reduce speed violations, and to increase safety on our roads.

What do you think? Will digital license plates benefit our city and make our roads safer?