Risqué Driving
Have a bright idea for a dirty license plate? The DMV is hipper than you think.

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risqué driving What's on your license plate? For an annual fee of about $40, you can replace the random letters and numbers with something that reflects your personality. If you talk like you drive, don't expect your first choice. Department of Motor Vehicle officials take a dim view of sexual innuendo or salty language. They also aren't keen on ethnic slurs, drug slang, or messy politics.
Personalized license plates may not be the most pressing issue facing the First Amendment, but they're still a battleground. California has turned down requests for HIVPOS and HIVNEG but allowed ENDHIV. In Oregon, the DMV declined to renew a plate that read 69. The owner had moved it from a '69 Ford to a '76 Ford. The DMV said that changed the plate's "context." In Florida, the DMV turned down a renewal request for YOMAMMA, ruling it objectionable and obscene. The motorist then asked for URASPAZ, which was also turned down.
Many DMVs will pull personalized plates off the road after a single complaint. That's what happened in San Diego, where a Japanese-American police officer notified the DMV after spotting a plate that read RAPNJAP. It had been issued to Robin Arnett Petty and his wife, Judy Ann Petty, who lost a legal battle to keep it.
The California DMV, which receives 10,000 requests a month for personalized plates, says state law bans configurations that might offend someone, for whatever reason. That's a broad mandate. To fulfill it, the Special Plate Unit checks every application against a list of tens of thousands of forbidden configurations compiled over the past 28 years. When a DMV official had called the list "a compendium of indecency," we knew we had to see it. The DMV sent it along and posted a searchable version online.
Below are some of the more interesting plates. If any give you trouble, think phonics. And drive safely.

Behind You
SRYPU
KCUFO
HETWO

The F-Word
APHUKIT
FAAAAAK
FKEWE
FUCKENA
FUGGITT
PHCMAL
PHQYEAH
PHUCOPH
WADAFUG

Helpful Advice
BUYAGUN
GETITWT
GODEEEP
GODEEPR
JRKNPUL
RUBR4U

Social Commentary
AFNMESS
DISCOSX
FKJAPAN
GODZDED
GOVTSUX
HEMPUSA
IH8DMV
NOBLSHIT
NOHIPYS
OJDIDIT
PISMOAN
SAFESEX
WHOFRTD
XWIFSUK

Speed Demons
HALNAS
ILAP2GO
MYCOFFN

A Pleasant Good Morning
WTA2U

Oral Fixation
EATABVR
FL8ME
GR8TUNG
JSTBLWN
KNOBJOB
LICKCLT
MOUTHFL
SITONMY
9BU6BME

Sneaking One Past the Goalie
BULTHIT
GLOWJOB
6ULDV8
PEANUS
PREVERT
SHHEET
TURBLO

Steer Clear
DEATH2U
ILCUTYA
IMDRUNK
1WILLSU
KUTMOMY
PEDKILR
YOUDIE

Bathroom Humor
BIGPOOP
BUGHER
DOGFART
OWTHOUS
PEEU
YELASNO

Hot Singles
ATOY4D2
BOFFIN
EASYLAY
FSOGOOD
GETUOFF
GRTNBED
LAPTOY
MI2EZ4U
TEAMFAQ
TRYMEON
3WAYOK

You Talking to Me?
BUTTWAD
HEYVITO
I8U4DNR
JAGOH
KZMYP2T
OFFMYAZ
RUAYNO2
SUMBTCH
SUXTOBU
YAZZOLE
YUPESCM
YURMTHR

Mr. Smooth
ICUM1ST
ISTALKU
KINGDIC
PUSSAY
SHAAWNG
SPRMDPT
1FILMU

Pickup Lines
FLASHME
LOVESUM
NEEDSEX
NT2BZ46
OOHLALA
RU4BN8
STIFKOK
WNABONE

Looking for Trouble
ADULTRY
AIMHIGH
CMY2SH
DRUGDLR
FAGGOT
GBANGER
ILCYFAN (*)
IRSSPY
RAPEME
REFEREE
8TWEETY
9ERSSUK

* I'll siphon

Looking for Real Trouble
HITLER
KLANMAN
SIGHEIL
WITEPWR

Pushing Their Luck
HALOFAZ
ICEACOP
ICU2COP
OINKPD

Was I Going That Fast?
KOPLUVR

Free Parking!
FBICAR
MOBBOSS
00SEVEN
POLICE
TVNEWSI
USGOVT

You Have to Wonder
BUGADOG
CADAVER
ELKPOOP
EGGBUTT
ENEMA
JOCITCH
MAXYPAD
MENOPOZ
MOLESTR

On Duty
EZ4AFEE
HO4SALE
ILA4PAY
PIMPWGN

Sounds Dirty
BALLBOY
DOOWOP
FURFISH
GETIN18
MXDNUTS

Low Self-Esteem
BIGDORK
DAMFOOL
FADASS
IAMBOZO
NOTHUNG
WYTTRSH

Grumpy Old Man
DAMNKID

Tiny Cars
BIGJNSN
FKNLONG
OITSOBG
7INCHES
8INPLUS
9INCHER

English As a Second Language
CHUPAMI (Spanish, "Suck me")
CACACAR (Spanish, "shit car")
UCKFAY (Pig Latin, "fuck")
DOTADO (Italian, "well hung")
CULO (Spanish, Italian, "ass")
CHATTAI (French, "pussy")

Rear View
ABITOFA
BUTTSUP
GR8ARSE
PCOFASS
TUSHCKR

Drug Fans
BAKEON
BUYCOKE
CD8ME
GETN2HI
KOAKANE
NOMOBLW
1KILO4U

Gay Wheels
FAERIE
GAYBOB
MRANDMR

Golden Television
BUTTNOO
DAMITJM
DINGBAT
EXQZMEE
I8AUNTB
THEBEVR


updates

In September 2007 the Oregon DMV revoked three license plates owned by the Udink family — UDINK1, UDINK2 and UDINK3 — saying that after review, they had been found to have several "derogatory meanings," one of them sexual and the other a racial slur for Asians. "Since when can a panel dictate whether your name's offensive or not?" asked Mike Udink.


visitor feedback

From Bruce Jennings:
My favorite: SWAF, seen on a car in Oregon. I bet the DMV thought the guy was doing a cute thing on being "suave and debonair." I think he acronymized sealed with a kiss wrong.

From Diana Hickson:
In 2007 the California DMV went after my sweetheart because someone had complained that his vanity plate GO 2 11 (of Spinal Tap fame) could be read as "Go to Hell." This is more amazing in that I once snapped a photo in Sacramento of this plate that the DMV apparently didn't find objectionable:

Hand plate


Links: License Plates: A Pictorial History (book), Gr8 Pl8s (book),
1000 Vanity Plates (site), Oedipus, King (of the Road) (site)

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