N.C. changes plate system

The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles has started printing personalized license tags with a new digital system that eliminates the embossed letters and numbers.

The finished product will feature a smooth finish, using a system that DMV officials say reduces costs and will save production time. the digital production method eliminates silk screening and uses a thinner piece of aluminum. The plates will still be manufactured by the N.C. Department of Correction.

State officials say the system cuts production time from about five months to less than 14 weeks.

North Carolina printed more than 66,600 specialized plates in 2007, up from about 58,500 in 2005.

Several other states also are using the new flat design.