DMV rejects thousands of vanity license plate messages, from "IHATEIA" to "YASSS"

Published: Nov. 12, 2019 at 2:39 PM CST
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Believe it or not, but someone in Nebraska has wanted the word "CHEEKS" on their license plates.

Nebraskans have also requested "THONG," "HUMMUS" AND "MATH SUX."

These are just a few of more than four thousand vanity license plates that have been rejected by the state in the 17 years for violating a state statute.

Betty Johnson, administrator of driver and vehicle records for the Department of Motor Vehicles, has been involved in the process of approving and rejecting vanity plates for about 20 years.

In that time she said she's pretty much seen it all.

"Some particular four letter words, references to body parts come up quite often," Johnson said.

The state statute said the plates can't express or imply anything that's objectionable or obscene.

Johnson said there's a group of 15 people whose duties are to review message plate submissions, each application is looked at my at least two of those people.

Often those reviewers look up the messages on Google or a website for slang called Urban Dictionary, to make sure there's no hidden violations.

The denials of phrases like "WEEDKLR," "MOIST" or "STANK" are nothing personal, Johnson said.

"The biggest reason why the DMV cares is because the legislature told us we should care and that its something we should monitor, it's not because of our personal beliefs," Johnson said. "We're stewards of implementing rules and laws the legislature has passed."

If a plate you request doesn't make the cut you can call the DMV for an explanation, and they may even help you come up with an appropriate alternative.

To see a full list of the plates rejected over the last 17 years, click on the link "Denied Nebraska License Plates" in the related documents section of this web page. This list may be inappropriate for some readers.

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