This falls under the anything-to-make-a-buck category.

State Sen. Curren Price, D-Los Angeles, has proposed legislation that would allow the state to study creating electronic license plates that would display ads or other messages when the vehicle is stopped for more than four seconds. When the vehicle is moving, the plate’s digital screen would show only the license plate number. The number also would be visible at all times in some section of the screen. The plate also could be used to broadcast Amber Alerts or traffic information.

Price’s plan is intended as a moneymaker for the state, which is facing at least a $19 billion deficit. He said advertisers would contract directly with the DMV.

“We’re just trying to find creative ways of generating additional revenues,” Price told the Associated Press. “It’s an exciting marriage of technology with need and an opportunity to keep California in the forefront.”

Price said California would be the first state with such plates.

The bill, SB1453, was passed unanimously last month by the state Senate, and a hearing is set for Monday before the Assembly Transportation Committee.

No word on if anyone thinks such license plate ads would be distracting to other drivers.

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  1. Jokingright

    Unless having ads on plates covers yearly registration costs I think we can file this under “terrible ideas.”

    June 28th, 2010 9:39 am

  2. debrea

    The day my car becomes a tool for advertising is the day the State must pay for the use of my vehicle’s services. I wonder how many people will do what the illegals do and just not register their cars.
    I don’t want Big Brother in my life and this is an underhanded way of connecting me to big brother.
    I think the State could save/make more money by enforcing a 10% paycut on our elected officials, take away the expense accounts and company vehicles, put thermostats in schools on timers and controls. Can you believe that during the winter the heat runs all night in the schools.Same for the air conditioning in the summer.Teachers and janitors “forget” to turn them off!On the State and National level, elected officials should NOT receive medical benefits without paying their fair share, they should not be able to retire after just one term in office.

    June 28th, 2010 9:45 am

  3. kyle

    Is it April 1 again already?

    Here’s a thought, CA – fire Sen Price and his staff.

    June 28th, 2010 9:56 am

  4. Rick McNamara

    Ya, great idea lets do pharmaceutical adds on our children’s text books as well.

    June 28th, 2010 10:24 am

  5. citizen kane

    yea ok… stupid —- if i say so myself… how can that NOT be a distraction….its even more of a distraction than cell phone use when driving…pure stupidity.and if this did hasppen would the driver get paid royalties for advertising?

    June 28th, 2010 10:25 am

  6. Pay ME

    So, the state wants to advertise using my vehicle… Sounds to me like the advertisors should be paying me to have their crap on my vehicle, not the DMV. Last I checked private property can’t be forced to advertise for a corportation. Not to mention how do they plan to power these stupid plates, they aren’t going to power it off my vehicle and a watch battery wont be enough for their grand wireless ideas. I can see so many lawsuits from this that it would be impossible for the state to make money off this dimwitted idea. How about advertisors pay us and we can tattoo their crappy logos on our elected representatives that support this waste. This fails in so many ways, but I would expect nothing left from those fools on a hill.

    June 28th, 2010 10:43 am

  7. I'm w/stupid ---->

    This is THE most stupidest idea I have ever heard.

    June 28th, 2010 10:44 am

  8. W

    Just what I need ! More distractions of flashing screens in traffic. This is the most unintelligent idea I have heard. Drivers are NOT supposed to be reading ads in traffic. (Bumper stickers and magnetic/painted on ads are already a distraction for some drivers.) What if I need to report the driver to CHP for reckless driving, but all I see is an ad because the license information is made smaller to accommodate the advertisement? And what, pray tell, will this technology cost to set up and maintain? Will I be required to run electricity to my license plates even if I drive an old bomber car?

    June 28th, 2010 10:57 am

  9. kc

    How much will the public get from this venture?

    The DMV and the owner of the car should get a portion of that revenue.

    June 28th, 2010 11:25 am

  10. george macaulay

    not on my car!! Ever!!!

    June 28th, 2010 12:49 pm

  11. Patti

    Oh come on! I can’t use my cell phone while sitting at a stop light but I can READ a license plate? Stupidest idea EVER. Maybe the cell phone companies should give the state a commission for all text messages sent/received while sitting at a stop light and then we could use our phones. It’s not about safety–it’s about MONEY.

    June 28th, 2010 12:49 pm

  12. Zuma

    I am sure we can have plates letting Illegals know they can get amnesty in Santa Rosa, San Francisco and Los Angeles!

    June 28th, 2010 1:20 pm

  13. Shantilal Shah

    Just to day I tried to make an appointment for driver’s license renewal.The earliest date available was August 10th when my license would have expired on 5th. I believe legislature and governer should get to gether and do some thing to relieve the chaos at the DMV offices. I would not mind paying an extra fee for the renewal as well as car registration fee.Those who can afford to pay thousands of dollars to own a car should not have problem paying few extra dollars for license renewal or car registration.

    June 28th, 2010 1:30 pm

  14. Anne

    I really can’t believe you would even for a split second consider this. This is the most stupid idea I’ve heard, someone has way to much time on their hands; seems maybe you should cut this senators hours.

    June 28th, 2010 2:44 pm

  15. Tensigh

    I’m all for it if it lowers my DMV fees. But if it doesn’t lower my costs at all, screw it!

    June 28th, 2010 2:51 pm

  16. Ramon

    We could all stop buying new cars, therefore avoiding the new plates. But this is incredibly stupid.

    June 28th, 2010 3:12 pm

  17. Lin

    Good Grief! And what, pray tell, will they advertise? Personal products, drugs, bail bonds companies, porn sites, gambling casinos, alcohol — I agree – stupidest idea ever! Highway billboards are more than enough, already!

    July 8th, 2010 10:07 pm

  18. Barbara

    I agree with these posts; this is insanity at it’s purest level. Our legislators need to be working on real issues; Senator Price must already have one of his corporate “sponsors” lined up and ready to sign on. Will the vehicle owner be able to control what he/she is advertising on their personal property/vehicle? I certainly wouldn’t want BP’s ad popping up on my car when sitting in traffic. This isn’t only stupidy, but it poses public safety risks. VOTE ‘EM ALL OUT OF OFFICE and replace them with people in touch with reality!

    July 26th, 2010 1:41 pm

  19. pati

    There is to much advertising out there now. Going to a store use to be relaxing, not anymore you are grilled at the checkout line now, do you have this or do you want this? Leave us alone! Let us relax and enjoy our shopping.

    September 6th, 2010 1:17 pm

  20. safedriver

    I saw the headline and thought it must be a joke!
    This is basically an LCD computer display, and how does this data get uploaded? I’d bet they’d be full of bugs and not display correctly if at all. I mean in broad daylight, who can see a computer screen hanging off a bumper? Can you imagine the cost of one of these?
    What happens when it breaks? License plates get hit all the time from stuff, are they able to handle a shopping cart bashing into them?
    Senator Price needs to resign yesterday!!

    January 28th, 2011 2:50 am

  21. concerndriver

    Q from safedriver: How does the data get uploaded?
    Probably via wifi, so if you had issues with the smart meters for pge, then you may also have issues with this. Plus, you bet the advertisers are going to want to know when the ad displayed.. (what cross street) so who knows it may have the ability to track where you drive, and how often you drive too.

    Obviously they would need to fully disclose what kind of data they can collect, but I agree if they plan to run advertisements, then those ads should also pay for our reg fees every year

    February 10th, 2011 1:17 pm

  22. Jeff Davis

    Unless I am paid, and paid very well indeed, the use of my vehicle as someone’s billboard is not going to happen. I never ever buy clothes with the manufacturer’s name on it either. And for the same reason. I decline to be an unpaid billboard.

    Another stupid idea out of Sacramento. Don’t they have a budget to produce over there????

    May 25th, 2011 11:23 am

  23. Mike

    We are obviously paying our lawmakers way too much money if they have the time to sit around thinking of stupid laws like this. This would never work, for all the reasons people have already listed, and i doubt the state could find enough advertisers. California is one of the least business-friendly states in the country because our legislators keep thinking of new ways to burden them. Want to balance the budget? Pay the fools in Sacramento the average teacher’s salary and lift restrictions on businesses so they will want to come here.

    July 1st, 2011 12:42 pm

  24. BOB

    Looks like a Advertizing company has lobbied the wackiest Senator in Calif.

    July 15th, 2011 8:26 am

  25. Bryan

    What the heck?!?! Ads on MY LISCENSE PLATE?!?! ELECTRONIC?! UMMMMM, what power source will be powering these electronic plates?! MY BATTERY?!?! FUEL THAT I PAY FOR?!?! IT IS AN OUTRAGE THAT THIS IS EVEN BEING CONSIDERED!!!

    August 15th, 2011 5:02 pm

  26. Paulo

    Yes let’s get real close to the car in front so we can read the ad instead of paying attention to driving.

    August 18th, 2011 11:50 am

  27. John

    California Legislature at work…. When will people realize that these fools have run California into the ground? Sorry but liberals Democrats have been in power since the early 70′s. We need to start voting these clowns out! Instead of working to entice companies to come to California and stop those leaving they work on stupid crap like this. And lets not forget the all important “Flat Sheet” legistlation….. Good Lord…

    September 19th, 2011 1:19 pm

  28. Joseph

    yea go ahead try to put that crap on my vehicle and I’ll sue the crap out of the state and I’ll drag it on for years, it’ called private property this is not communist china.

    April 9th, 2012 12:21 am

  29. MC RIDER

    If it pays for my Gas, Reg, insur, and taxes, Shure Way not!!!

    April 18th, 2012 12:52 am

  30. sjd


    August 15th, 2012 4:12 pm

  31. Tony

    I will be advertising for my competitor’s!!! It should be optional to the consumer…

    August 13th, 2013 1:20 pm

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