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"Science fiction and science have always danced around each other. Science fiction is the subconscious of science."
- Greg Bear

Alterable License Number  
  A device which permits a driver to alter the license plate without leaving the vehicle.  

Mary Sperling doesn't want the traffic control cameras to identify her vehicle as she leaves the highway. What to do?

...she fumbled in the storage compartment on the instrument board and fumbled, apparently purposelessly.

But the registration number which the traffic control automatically photographed as she left the controlway was not the number in which the car was registered.

From Methuselah's Children, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Astounding Science-Fiction in 1941
Additional resources -

See a slick newfangled idea for implementing the same idea in Daniel Suarez' 2009 novel Daemon - the digital ink license plate.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Methuselah's Children
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to Methuselah's Children
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

Alterable License Number-related news articles:
  - Lawmaker License Plates Invisible To Traffic Cams

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