California license plates will flash advertisements.

Bored as you wait at a stop light, imagine the license plate of the car in front of you suddenly starting to flash messages like a neon sign — advertisements, public service announcements, maybe even news. That’s what California is considering.


The California Legislature is weighing a bill that would allow the state to begin researching the use of electronic license plates for vehicles, the Associated Press reports via the Los Angeles Times.

Seems only fitting for a state that’s home to Tinseltown, the glitz and glamor. But the plate isn’t yet ready for prime time — it’ s still under development by a San Francisco technology firm, Smart Plate. California certainly isn’t shy about creative license plates, such as the Ronald Reagan model honoring its former governor and presidential favorite son from a few years ago, shown above.

The move is intended as a moneymaker, a good thing considering the state faces a $19 billion deficit:

As envisioned, the electronic license look like a standard metal plate when a car is barreling down the road. But when the car is stopped more than four seconds, it would starting flashing advertisements. The license plate number would stay visible in at least one section of the plate.

The AP says the bill’s author, Democratic state Sen. Curren Price of Los Angeles, believes the Golden State would be the first in the nation if a go-ahead is eventually authorized.

“We’re just trying to find creative ways of generating additional revenues,” he is quoted as saying.

Via USA Today