California Senate Takes Up Digital License Plates That Can Track Movements, Collect Fees


The California State Senate is considering a statewide conversion to non-renewable digital license plates that would be able to collect electronic information, such as determining whether a motorist has pre-paid a road toll, in a bid to do away with what sponsors feel is the costly, inconvenient process of producing, distributing and renewing traditional license plates.

According to CBS San Francisco, Senate Bill 806 would establish a pilot program outfitting 160,000 vehicles with the new plates, which would essentially be computer screens with wireless capability.

A San Francisco-based startup company with lobbyists in Sacramento would supply (read: sell) the digital plates.

Advocates say the switch to digital would be convenient (no annual waiting at the DMV), cheap ($20 million a year less than traditional plates) and virtuous (the plates could issue Amber Alerts.)

Critics, like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), say the plates could easily become a tool for warrantless, secret tracking of motorists’ movements.

“Law enforcement needs a warrant to be able to put a tracking device on your car,” said an EFF attorney. “It’s a possibility the way this program could be implemented, these smart plates could be that tracking device.”

California Senate Democrat Ben Hueso is sponsoring the bill.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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  • Hugh Coburn

    NO, you have no need to know, where I am, or where I’m going.!!! The Bill of Rights!!!

    • John Woodbury

      You are out of the loop, that old paper, made by old men, no longer applies, President Obama said so; so it must true.

  • Don Fisk

    This is another example of our elected reps catering to business in a way that reduces our liberties and heaps pervasive control over our activities. They are too simple to understand that regulation, fees, and taxes drive both business (read jobs) and people into the ground.

  • John W

    It’s way past time for the folks in California to start telling these politicians NO! The time for civil disobedience is upon all of us and for a lot more than electronic license plates.

  • foxxybey

    The new Hitler arrived on the backs of the brown shirt Nazi’s and now you have to bow or die?

  • Quester55

    first to be Tagged was your Livestock, Then came your pets, now it’s your choice of Transportation, & Finally, It’ll BE Y-O-U !!
    Big Brother H_ _ L Read Rev.12 & 13, for the Truth
    or Take your chances as a MARKED CITIZEN Of EARTH!

    • Timothy Thompson

      Man talk about stalking us for pets that we now are forced to tag and our vets are in cahoots with the powers that be, they inform on us to the city that we have a dog, the tag is mandated that they received each and every year, then we get notices of this shot or that shot needed by the vets, it goes on and on and on. We received a bill for 800.00 past due tags that in fact we didn’t have the dogs that we tagged years before, two dogs that were stolen out of our backyard. Unbelievable that the city came after us and threatened to garnish our jobs when we didn’t even have them for five years. Just another way to control us, this country is losing it.

  • Quester55


    What does the most Damage over the years;

    1. A Seasonal Flood

    2. A Tiny, Little Creek that wanders about the ground, year after year?


    It’s called the Trickle Down Effect & Over Time, Can be more damaging that a Mississippi River Flood. Don’t believe me, Look real hard at the grand Canyon.

    This same method is being used to destroy this Country from Within & Not one Darn thing is being done to stop the destruction, Except Endless Talk!!!

    So End the Talk, Chase those Greedy, Invasive, Communistic Government Types out of their Million (TAX-PAID)Dollar homes & SHOW them that YOU Mean Business !!
    Scare the CRAP out of them & maybe they’ll stop treating you like Crap.

  • Ibn Insha

    Never trust government, no matter what it says. Even when it takes the oath to uphold the constitution of the United States of America.

  • Jake Thomas

    Maybe the Amish are on to something