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Distracting Naughty Vehicle License Plates

Posted on June 5, 2012

California sesquicentennial license plate

California sesquicentennial license plate (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Personalized license plates offer vehicles the opportunity to stand out from a sea of mundane state issued license plane numbers. Applying for a personalized plate varies from state to state and often takes a special committee from the Department of Motor Vehicles to accept the requested plates. These committees are in place to ensure that the context of the plates is neither offensive towards the general public, nor deceptive towards Federal records. Considering that hundreds of thousands of applications are submitted every year to the DMV for approval there are always a few clever messages that manage to make it onto the public roads to be seen by everyday commuters. Some of these plates make it onto blog websites and news stories; others can cause car accidents and the need for a car accident lawyer.

AN OREGON PERSONALIZED LICENSE PLATE WITH THE ...

AN OREGON PERSONALIZED LICENSE PLATE (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Various causes and organizations for the greater good benefit from the personalized license plates. Organizations such as universities, fire departments, arts council, coastal commissions, and causes such as memorial foundations receive money to help keep their organization going. The money comes from an extra fee that is charged when the applicant requests the personalized plate. Money obtained from Memorial License plates for example; help law enforcement fight threats of terrorism statewide, those purchased in California help California. It also offers applicants another platform for creativity when authoring their plate. A “Horrible License” blog shows how a Michigan state plate with an “S” for State incorporated the words “ATAN”. In a lifted off-road truck from Hawaiian its plate reads “RNM OVR” with a rainbow in the background which stands for “Run ‘Em Over”.

There is an ample amount of possibilities to form “questionable formulations”. Committees of up to twenty DMV staff gather monthly for an hour to review suspicious applications. Whilst there are programs that prescreen submissions, human review is necessary. Deceptive plates such as “FBI”, “0o0o0o0” and “NO TAG” are banned statewide along with the sexual, racial, and excretory and drug reference messages. The plate pre-screening program works from a database of already rejected plate names such as: GAY, IPUNCHU, DMYANKI, WILDPIG, MIERDA and TOILET.

English: Personalized license plate from Swede...

English: Personalized license plate from Sweden Македонски: Персонализирана табличка од Шведска (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some states are more permissive than others. Depending on their culture they will allow messages other states will not. Florida DMV takes a permissive stance towards the celebration of nudity allowing names like: O2B NUDE, BARE ALL and BE NAKED while disallowing names like “4NICK8” and “CAT BUTT”

California can be more permissive, granted that there is a legitimate reason behind the choosing of the name for the plate. If the reason justifies the name of the plate while not breaking any statewide banned rules, it is usually granted.

Sometimes the cleverest of plates slip through committees and filtering computer systems such as “370H55V” in Virginia, to get the message, the plate has to be read upside-down. Such plates, while they contribute to philanthropic causes can be distracting to other drivers who are busy moving their eyes off the road and shifting their attention to decipher the plates. In case of a car accident, contact a Bakersfield car accident lawyer (BKRSFLD or BKRSLAW) who can help you get back on your feet and fight to help you win the compensation that you need.

A self-made mockup of a personalized specialty...

A self-made mockup of a personalized specialty license plate used as a fund raiser for the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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