Opinion: Vanity of vanities -- RU4RL? What’s on your DMV plate?


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Did it really take the DMV -– the one in Nevada, not in California -– four years to figure out the meaning of this license plate?

Four long years that this personalized plate, according to Nevada station KTNV, has been on the back of a blue Mazda rolling around the asphalt of the Silver State?


Nevadans rank fourth among the 50 states as a percentage of vehicles for their fondness for vanity plates (California is not even in the top five, and Texas is last).


As Nevada was recently amending its personalized license plate process, the offending plate somehow popped up and the owners were notified that it was now considered ‘obscene/offensive.’

A little rude and in your face, maybe, but obscene? Hardly.

The DMV backed down on that one. But Nevada’s plate process was definitely in need of a do-over. Last month a man sued the DMV for not letting him have GOPALIN as a license plate because it was deemed political, even though other political plates had been allowed to hit the road.

California has had vanity plates since 1970, and here’s what I could find on the DMV site about the guidelines:

‘The department has the right to refuse any combination of letters and/or letters and numbers that may carry connotations offensive to good taste and decency, or which would be misleading or in conflict with any license plate series now issued.’

Still, I think points should be awarded for cleverness. With the thousands of personalized plates out there –- some obscure, some cutesy -– my favorite, for its subversive end-run around the DMV powers that be, is still


What is your vanity plate, and what does it mean? What are your favorites? And what plates can’t you figure out? Maybe you’ve had a vanity plate request rejected by the DMV. Put ‘em all in the comments.



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Photo: The Arts license plate (‘Coastline’) was designed by prominent California artist Wayne Thiebaud and is the nation’s first plate specifically designed to benefit the arts. Credit: / Dec. 8, 2009