The Assembly approved SB806 by Democratic Sen. Ben Hueso of San Diego, which would authorize the Department of Motor Vehicles to evaluate alternative license plates and registration cards.
A legislative analysis of the bill says replacing current plates and registration cards with wireless devices could reduce processing and mailing costs. Privacy advocates have raised concerns that digital plates could allow government officials to track motorists.
Up to 160,000 California drivers could participate in the pilot program if the bill is signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.
It cleared the Assembly Tuesday on a 71-3 vote and returns to the Senate for a final vote.