If you’re contemplating memorializing your last drug binge, sexual escapade, or unforgettable toot in your next vanity plate, I’ve got some sad news for you. Not every idea can be engraved onto your automobile’s license plate. The Texas DMV alone rejected over 5,000 personalized license plate applications in 2022, and that was only up until October.
Texas DMV Looks for Patterns and Knows a F@RT is a FART
According to the Texas DMV (and every other DMV in the United States), personalized license plates need to abide by the guidelines. Specifically, that means you can’t use vulgar, derogatory, or indecent words or phrases. You also can’t reference certain entities or topics, such as drugs, the military, race, ethnicity, sexual or gender orientation, criminal activity, or law enforcement.
Despite the rules, many DMV license plate applications tried to skirt them by getting creative. Usually, this is done by replacing letters with numbers or symbols. The word isn’t literally written, but it still gives the same message. A F@Rt is obviously referencing the passing of gas and COKANE is obviously referencing an illegal white powder.
Texas DMV List of License Plate Rejections Is Hilarious
Some of the personalized license plates refused by the Texas DMV in 2022 were:
- SHE MAD
- SNAZZY B
- F BDN
- IM PSSD
- FN FANCY
- TX AF 1
- BLU BLLS
Please Consider Who Is Making Your Vanity Plate
Although this isn’t explicitly mentioned in DMV vanity plate guidelines, it’s important to remember that many inmates are still making these plates for the general public. License plates are still a “quintessential product” created by incarcerated workers, according to a researcher for the ACLU. This practice began in 1920 and continues to this day in about 37 states, according to 12 News Now.
MyPlates took a look at a medium-security prison in Texas that produces license plates. Their video shows the entire process. Specifically, inmates work on specialized license plates.
So, if we allowed words like “COKAN3,” “KILLA,” and “CONVICT,” that could be a bit triggering. Hence, vulgar plates are probably not too fair for people who are trying to correct themselves.
All DMVs Reject Specialized License Plate Applications
If you’re interested in what kinds of license plates are rejected in other states, there’s a hilarious Twitter account you can follow. @CA_DMV_Bot posts photos of applications every hour. While their database only contains data from 2015 to 2016, the bot is at less than 2% reporting so far.
Some of the California DMV license plate rejections include “HU F4RTED,” “BLUE ME,” and “S8TAN.”
LA Magazine did a feature on these rejections. It also included some of the applicants’ reasonings for their specific requests.
For instance, “BLUE ME” was explained as “Sad time in my life and my car is blue.”
“DCKXTSN” was explained as “I’m the extension of my dad. My father’s name is “Dick” and I was named after him.” DMV comments were “Dick extension. Customer’s name is Brant.”
However, sometimes license plates are rejected by state DMVs just “because.”
Evidently, a California plate reasoning for “TUNAFSH” was explained as “I’m a professional fisherman and I fish for tuna all over the world.” DMV comments were “I Googled him. He is and he does.” Yet they still said no.