Tennessee's new plates aren't readable by license plate readers at night

new license plate
Posted at 7:25 AM, Feb 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-14 11:18:59-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — License plate readers are coming to Davidson County for a test run very soon, but NewsChannel 5 has learned the state’s new plates may be an issue.

The Department of Revenue confirms the new plates are not readable by LPRs at night.

"We are aware of the LPR issue, and we are engaging in conversations with our partners at the Tennessee Department of Safety to more fully understand it. It would be premature to discuss any further actions we may take until we fully vet the concerns raised," said a spokesperson for the department in a statement.

Despite the issue, production for the new plates has not stopped, the department confirmed.

"Both the Department of Safety and Homeland Security and the Department of Revenue are evaluating claims regarding how new plates interact with license plate readers at night. Until this evaluation is complete, there will be no changes to the production or renewal process," the department said.

The new Tennessee license plates are navy blue and the design will replace the current plate design launched in 2006.

Under state law, the plate may be redesigned every eight years as long as it's budgeted.

This latest discovery comes after Metro Council voted to approve a pilot program for license plate readers after some called the technology an invaluable resource while others worry if this could mean police have more power than they can handle.

The new plates won’t only be an issue for the technology in Metro at night.

Police departments in Spring Hill, Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville, Brentwood, and Belle Meade are all currently using the technology.