California drivers may have noticed something new over the last couple of weeks—temporary paper license plates on new cars instead of the branded Cartelligent plates that have become ubiquitous throughout the state. The new white paper plates show the license plate number and the VIN of the car.

The California DMV made the change, in order to enforce toll collection on bridges and toll roads, as well as to make it easier to identify new cars that may be involved in illegal activity. Previously, cars were able to evade tolls on unstaffed bridges like the Golden Gate bridge that rely on license plate numbers to bill vehicles without a valid FastTrack. The state estimates that toll evasions cost as much as $15 million in lost revenue annually.

Will the temporary license plates configuration match the permanent license plates?

No. Temporary license plates will contain a unique combination of letters and numbers, but will not necessarily match the permanent plates that will be issued.

How long are temporary license plates valid?

Temporary license plates are valid for 90 days after the date of sale, or until the customer receives their permanent license plates in the mail. The 90-day expiration date is displayed on the temporary plate.

Is there a penalty for vehicles displaying expired temporary license plates?

Yes. Drivers will be issued a “fix-it ticket” and will be required to replace the temporary plates with permanent plates.

What should a person do if they do not receive permanent license plates within 90 days?

You can file a complaint with the DMV if you do not receive your plates within 90 days.

 We at Cartelligent will miss seeing our blue logo on cars throughout the state.