In an attempt to find new moneymaking ventures and cut into a state deficit of $19 billion, the California Legislature is considering a bill that would allow the state to begin researching the use of electronic license plates for vehicles, according to the Associated Press.
The device would look like a standard license plate when a vehicle is in motion, but would switch to digital ads or other messages when it is stopped for more than four seconds, whether in traffic or at a red light. The license plate number would remain visible at all times on part of the screen.
The electronic plates also could be used to broadcast Amber Alerts or traffic information.
If the DMV recommends the widespread use of the plates, California would be the first state to implement this type of technology.
The bill's author, Democratic Sen. Curren Price of Los Angeles, said interested advertisers would contract directly with the state's Department of Motor Vehicles, which would open a new revenue stream.
"We're just trying to find creative ways of generating additional revenues," he said to the AP. "It's an exciting marriage of technology with need, and an opportunity to keep California in the forefront."