Dot-com license plates could raise funds for California computers

A Silicon Valley assemblyman who is running for Congress has introduced a bill to create a new “dot-com” license plate. The measure, which passed the state Senate Transportation Committee in June, is sponsored by the computer industry as a way to raise money to purchase computers for low-performing California schools.

The Department of Motor Vehicles and the California Highway Patrol would design the plates. Right now, the only requirement is that “.com” would be placed somewhere on the right side of the plate.

Assemblyman Jim Cunneen, R-Cupertino, said the new plates are “a perfect way of honoring the contributions of the industry” while raising money to “bridge the digital divide.”

The idea for the plates came from, a privately held Los Gatos company with about 15 employees. The year-old company registers domain names on the internet for free, and it promised to get 10,000 people to sign up for the new dot-com plates.

If 10,000 dot-com license plates are sold, about $500,000 would be raised for California school technology—minus the DMV’s costs for making the plates.

About four years ago, the Senate Transportation Committee agreed to stop approving new specialty license plates because the state was making so many different varieties. The California Highway Patrol complained because its officers have trouble identifying states.

But the Legislature makes exceptions. The most recent was a plate honoring former California Gov. Ronald Reagan.

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