By Kelly Ryan

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — California’s capital will be part of a test bed for a new license plate technology that goes beyond metal plates with letters and numbers.

The plates will start showing up on some cars in the area this week.

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California is one of three states that have legalized the use of digital plates. It’s currently in a pilot program but gathering drivers’ attention.

The new digital plates use similar low-power technology to Kindle e-book readers to make the plate into a mini digital billboard. Car owners can display their own personal messages, their favorite team logo or catch phrase, all through their cellphone.

Alerts, such as whether or not a vehicle is reported as stolen, can also show up on the plate.

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The California Department of Motor Vehicles tells CBS13 the digital plate is still in the evaluation phase. It’s not handling sales of the plates.

The plate distributor Reviver Auto says Kuni Cadillac Chevrolet on Fulton Avenue is the first and only dealership to sell them in Sacramento. The plates run about $700 and there’s an $8 a month service plan.

Backers say eventually the plates will be built into your car instead of being a separate placard.

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