- From the childish to the racist, thousands of offensive license plates were rejected by DMVs across the country last year, as they do every year.
- Don’t look for LATE AF or WEED42O in any car on the street, as vulgar phrases and references to drugs and sex were all caught on and removed last year.
- We don’t mind authorities making sure offensive internet meme jokes stay away from license plates, but we’re not so sure about rejected plates like GRLBOSS or EWWW G4S.
There’s a limit, my friends. More than 750 car owners in Ohio applied for personalized license plates which were rejected by authorities at the state’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Hundreds more tried in Oregon. In Texas, over 5000 people last year tried to slip some naughty words to the poor people of the DMV.
The rules about what phrases or letter combinations are allowed or not allowed vary from state to state, but KHOU in Texas explains that the general rule is not to allow anything that could be considered indecent, vulgar or demeaning. Texas also states that plates that refer to “race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation are also not allowed, whether derogatory or not.”
You may be reading this curious about the potentially inappropriate and offensive language people are trying to put on their plates, but we will still issue a content warning for potentially inappropriate and offensive language. So, be prepared, this list might get some undeserved AF.
By the way, Cincinnati City Beat recorded it as one of the most a phrase normally rejected in Ohio are people who put “AF” at the end of their dish, as in LATE AF, SALTY AF, and SMOOTH AF. An Oregonian trying MILFAF.
Some of the rejected plates are a little too self-explanatory—DOOKIE and POO BUTT, for example—but others must have presented a bit of a challenge to people submitting in the state’s DMV to understand what the intended message was. Only the highly online among us will understand why LIGMA was a problem, but the Oregon DOT caught it and labeled it “alarming, threatening, offensive, or misleading.” We’re not going to reprint some racist labels, but you can trust that they tried.
Oregon also said no
The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles permits some symbols to be used on license plates, but does not approve MAMACIT@, Y2*SLOW or [email protected].
Drug references are routinely captured, with BLAZIT, EM0420, and PHATT1 all listed. As it turns out, using “o” instead of zero isn’t quite the foolproof plan that the guy who submitted WEED42O thought it was. to R0LC0L as a configuration referring to an illegal action.
There are some turned down plates that will make us smile in a way that doesn’t offend us if they walk into the driveway near you. GRLBOSS, for example, and EWWW G4S or L8YBUG, but the general attitude seems to be better safe than sorry. We’ll be checking back a year from now to see what people are trying to tell the world via government-issued metal plates in 2023.