PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Drive around Oregon and you might notice a fair number of custom license plates.
Some feature a family name, a favorite sports team, an inside joke, or the name of a business.
People can get pretty creative with six characters and although it might seem like there’s a custom license plate for everything, the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicle Services actually rejects several hundred requests every year.
In 2022, 288 vanity license plates never made it onto bumpers for several reasons.
The Oregon DMV has strict rules when it comes to what’s allowed on a license plate. Anything considered “objectionable” will be tossed out. According to the custom plate rules on the application, this includes anything that might be alarming, threatening, offending or misleading.
Some examples include words or phrases that refer to intimate body parts or sexual functions, refer in an offensive manner to a person or class of people, suggest the vehicle with the issued custom plate is an official vehicle of a public agency when it is not, refer to illegal acts, or refer to alcoholic beverages or controlled substances.
So, that means 2022 requests like BUCK U, BURB4N, B00B, T00TED, BREWS AND EZKILL are all examples of vanity plates that were denied.
“We Google things. We use Urban Dictionary. Slang changes a lot, so we need to make sure that some of the things that are run by our desk don’t violate these very basic rules that have been in place for decades,” David House, a former spokesperson for the Oregon DMV told KOIN in 2021.
He said the DMV has a system that automatically filters out inappropriate vanity license plate requests. It also blocks anything that’s been denied in the past. Every request is run past the eyes of employees at the DMV to make sure it’s safe for approval.
House pointed out that the DMV will deny anything that’s negative toward a religious group, but will allow positive religious messages.
Occasionally something slips through the cracks. When that happens, House said drivers usually alert the DMV and complain about it.
Sometimes words or phrases that were approved years ago turn into new slang and the DMV needs to contact the driver and let them know their custom plate is being taken away.
House said the DMV doesn’t want kids asking parents “Hey Mom, hey Dad, what does this mean?” when they’re driving down a road or in a parking lot.
Oregonians can find the application for a custom license plate on the Oregon DMV’s website. There is an additional fee for a customized license plate.
Editor’s Note: The full list of vanity license plates denied in 2022 contains language that is offensive and inappropriate.
READ: Full list of license plates rejected by the Oregon DMV in 2022
Click the link above to read the full list of vanity license plates denied in 2022. Click here if veiwing in the app.