E-Plates: Everything you need to know about new number plate technology

E-Plates: Everything you need to know about new number plate technology

An e-plate or electronic number plates as they are also known are a new technology which is currently being trialled in the US, but if successful they could be rolled out here in the UK and the rest of the world.

Car registration plates are used to identify you and your car, but with misidentification, cloning and licence plate theft, it is hoped that these new types of number plates will cut down on this.

In this guide, we take a look at what an e-number plate is, how these new plates are being used and how they could become the norm in the UK.

What are e-registration plates?

E-registration plates use radio-frequency identification (RFID) tagging which means a car can be identified automatically. The way these new e-number plates work is a car’s data and information are stored in the memory chip of the plate. This allows detection systems to pick up information about the vehicle and owner quickly.

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How will an e-number plate be used?

Automatic number plate recognition cameras

The new plates will digitally store information and as a result, are set to be used by the government. The automatic chips on the new plates will be picked up by automatic number plate recognition cameras. These new e-plates are being used to help:

  • Identify stolen cars
  • Make identification faster and more reliable
  • Making number plates harder to clone and remove
  • Help reduce the number of uninsured and un-roadworthy vehicles
  • Giving authorities easier access to driver records and information
  • Improving overall security

What are the potential benefits of e-registration plates?

If these new e-plates are used in the UK something that many people are asking is: ‘what will the benefits of these new plates be?’. In this section, we take you through some of the potential benefits that e-plates will bring.

  • Tackling illegal activity – by using an e-plate the government could immediately withdraw the licence plate of a stolen or uninsured car.
  • Making access easier – drivers with an e-plate could benefit from automatic toll road access, automatic parking access, and faster payments when driving on roads that come under the congestion charge.
  • Helping road safety – The new e-plates could be used by governments and emergency services to offer drivers traffic reports, weather forecasts, and advice in disasters to name just a few.

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How much do e-plates cost?

Pound coins piled up

In the US, the e-car registration plates cost around $700, which is approximately £566, upfront. There is a further monthly charge of $7 (£5) for the maintenance of the registration plate.

If you have a traditional number plate, you can look at our how much is my number plate worth page to get expert advice and to find out how much you can sell your car registration plate for.

Are there any concerns with E-plates?

E-plates are in theory safe, but some people have expressed concerns.

One of the biggest concerns surrounds the cyber-security of these plates and how safe they are when it comes to possible hackers. The technology for e-plates is continuing to evolve and so is its security to help combat people’s fears that hackers could track a car’s journey and the driver.

The electronic plates have an inbuilt tracking device to allow for official identification, but this has caused some people to be concerned over an unnecessary intrusion into people’s privacy. Officials in the US have said and made efforts to ensure this will not happen.

There have also been claims that manufacturers of e-plates have too much power as they can override a car and turn off a car’s ignition. E-plate providers have said this technology has been included to avoid a car being hacked and altered, or as a direct reaction to a car being stolen.

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Where can you get a number plate?

Electronic number plates are not available in the UK, but they are being trialled in the US. Many people are predicting that in just a few years e-registration plates could be coming to the UK and other countries across the world.

They are trialling electronic plates in California, but here they are taking things a step further by trialling e-plates with digital displays. The Verge reports that by having number plates like this it can temporarily display a rolling advert when a car is stopped in traffic.

ALSO READ: Why buying a private number plate is worth it

This guide has taken a look at e-number plates by looking at what they are and how they could be used in the near future. The development of e-plates is always evolving, but if you are looking to sell a number plate you currently own then you can with Right Reg. Just look at our sell my number plate page to get a valuation!

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