Offbeat Rejected: These vanity license plate requests were not street-worthy

20:50  14 may  2018
20:50  14 may  2018 Source:

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995 vanity plates that were too risqué for the Utah DMV. This rule triggered the rejection of at least 39 license plate requests —including 69METS, a A man in New Mexico argued, through his attorney, that his rejected plate IB6UB9 was not sexual innuendo but an inside joke, about gambling.

A New Jersey license plate , like this one, won’t read ‘8THEIST’ anytime soon, a resident says after her request for the vanity plate was rejected . (Doug Hood/AP).

Texans for Obama © Dreamstime/TNS/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS Texans for Obama

FORT WORTH, Texas - Texas is a big state, and drivers here spend a lot of time on the road.

So it's only natural that some motorists want to share a message while they are driving around in their cars or trucks.

But apparently not all of those messages are road-worthy.

Take DAAAYUM, GOTWEED, CNN SUX and ESTUPID, for instance.

These were among the 2,243 proposed personalized license plates rejected in 2017 by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles for violating approval guidelines. The Star-Telegram obtained the list from the department.

"When a proposed plate sequence is received, it is reviewed by multiple TxDMV staff members," said Wendy Cook, a spokeswoman for the department also charged with registering vehicles.

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Starting last month, Muckrock launched its Vanity Plate Rejection Project by putting out FOIA requests on rejected vanity license plate applications to DMVs across the country. A number of our requests are still pending

For proof, check out this Facebook post from last year wherein I debate going all in on the life of a vanity boy. ABC 13 hit up the Texas DMV to see what personalized license plates have been rejected thus far in 2017.

Teams of workers look for inappropriate or "indecent" messages. They also look for anything that might be misleading, vulgar, derogatory or a reference to "illegal activities or substances or implied threats of harm," according to the Texas Administrative Code.

They also make sure that no new personalized plate duplicates a license plate that already exists.


Sometimes it seems as if everything comes back to politics.

So it should be no surprise that political jabs were aplenty in the license plate rejection pile.

Among those messages, made up of six to seven letters, turned down last year: NOTRUMP, N2TRUMP and one with an expletive referring to the president.

Other political messages: DPORTME, ENSLAVE, NSTYWM and NOBAMA.

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— Vanity license plates have a way of sparking controversy, especially when they contain words or themes that critics see as unpalatable. The brief note informed him that his plate request was denied and that the money he paid for the vanity plate would be returned.

A list of all personalized license plate number applications that were rejected for the year 2013. I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest.

"I am in favor of complete and nearly unfettered free speech," said Allan Saxe, an associate political science professor at UT Arlington. "But license plates are really state regulated and thus the state can dictate appropriate wording."

Saxe gives a thumbs up for creativity to Texans who proposed these plates, but he noted they might create problems if allowed on the road.

"The personalized political plates may allow some to dissipate and express their frustrations," he said. But at the same time, "these personalized plates may make some so mad that they engage in road rage."

Too sexy?

Clearly not everything is about politics.

A number of general messages proposed for license plates were rejected as well.


Other license plates rejected last year likely were turned down because they could misrepresent law enforcement or governmental officials or their titles. Those include: US AGENT, PRESDNT, TEXDPS, THEMAYR, DA MAYOR and GUVNOR.

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This is a request for a list of all personalized license plate number applications that were rejected for the year 2013. If available I am also looking for: -The reason for the rejection of the personalized plate .

Illustrations by Alyse Moyer. Over at PennDOT HQ in Harrisburg, it’s somebody’s job to sift through the thousands of vanity license plate applications the agency Here are 300-plus more funny, strange and just plain odd requests that were rejected by Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation.

And some proposed plates rejected last year likely were scrapped because they were considered too sexual, including PORNSTR, DATBUTT, ILSPNKU and SEXDRIV.


Maybe some proposed plates were just too random - or duplicated messages already on the streets.


Texans for Obama © Dreamstime/TNS/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS Texans for Obama

But don't worry.

If you propose a vanity license plate that's rejected, there's still an appeals process.

Just get ready to wait for a little while.

"The turnaround time for this process is approximately three months," Cook said.

Visit the Fort Worth Star-Telegram at

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