Banned license plates: DMV is hip to your txtspeak

Many state motor vehicle departments are keeping up with txtspeak and banning vulgar acronyms from appearing in personalized plates on the road.

Farmer changing license plate
Back in the olden days, txtspeak license plates weren't a problem. Library of Congress

You giggled when you filled out your application for a new Arizona license plate. You thought your chances were good the DMV wouldn't get "LOLGTFO." You were wrong. That is one of many banned license plates on the state of Arizona's extensive no-drive list.

GovernmentAttic.org has released a treasure trove of banned-plate lists from various states. Arizona, in particular, has a very long list of plates you're not allowed to have. Most of them aren't too surprising. The standard curse words aren't allowed. If you wanted your BMW to say "MYPOOPY," you're out of luck. Some of the banned plates are a bit curious. For example, "BIOPSY" is not allowed.

You can have txtspeak on your plate in Arizona, but only if you keep it clean. "ROFLMAO" is a no-go. Arkansas, however, seems to be a little slower on the uptake. "ROFLMAO" doesn't appear on the state's prohibited list. That doesn't necessarily mean the plate would pass DMV scrutiny should someone request it.

California has given itself a lot of leeway when it comes to banning plates. A plate can be denied if it "has "a negative connotation to a specific group," "a term of lust or depravity," or "is a vulgar term." That means "MILF123" probably won't make it.

If you thought Arizona was strict, then you wouldn't want to try to sneak one by Washington D.C. Sorry, Batman fan, you can forget about having a personalized geek plate reading "DKNIGHT." The banned lists are quite long, but you can cruise them to your heart's delight. Just don't try to register "OMGWTF" in Iowa. Iowa sees what you're trying to do there.

(Via BoingBoing)

About the author

Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET's Crave blog. When not wallowing in weird gadgets and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.

 

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