Capturing new Tennessee tags at night may be tricky with most basic license plate readers

Security company says sophisticated LPRs work
New Tennessee license plate
Posted at 6:05 PM, Mar 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 19:37:39-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — There's been confusion about the new, dark blue Tennessee license plates.

Apparently, some license plate recognition security cameras can't read the plate at night because it is totally reflective. However, most sophisticated cameras can read the plates.

"Traditionally the plates are either reflective on the background or the number and in this case they're reflective on both," said Aaron Hatcher, director of IT for Herring Technology.

Nashville-based security company Herring Technology tested clients' license plate readers around the area. Their systems are reading the license plates with little difficulty, but owner Tom Herring said less sophisticated models, that depend solely on infrared, may not read the plates.

"It's just going to be a white blur for that. But your higher-end systems that are put in, server-based analytics that are actually what we truly call AI, artificial intelligence, they're learning them. They just get smarter with it each time it reads," said Tom Herring.

With the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, this is what the Department of Revenue said about inconsistencies:

"Some systems can read the new license plate and a range of other test samples successfully. For other systems, there may be opportunities to improve readability. Both departments are working together and with industry stakeholders to determine the best path forward."
Kelly Cortesi, Spokesperson for the Department of Revenue

In the next few days, the state will make a recommendation, possibly that basic license plate reading cameras should be updated.

Popular residential security camera company Flock Safety told NewsChannel 5 it has sent an update to all Flock cameras in Tennessee, which should allow them to capture the new plates without a problem.