Vanity license plates are mostly awful. Nobody—especially people stuck in traffic—care to see the clever ways you’ve used a limited selection of letters and numbers to tell the world you’re an accomplished lawyer or that your dad bought you the car you’re driving. Bad jokes, though, are why vanity plates exist. Through them, you can try to make others laugh during their commute, brightening their day by showing that you’re clever enough to sneak a dick joke through governmental agencies.
Writer Sam Braslow, dedicating himself to the good work of surfacing some of the best examples, has combed through the records of vanity plates deemed unacceptable by the California DMV. The resulting article at Los Angeles Magazine is a treasure trove of deeply stupid puns and an enlightening look into the process by which DMV staff apply a “policy [that] rejects ‘any personalized license plate configuration that [carries] connotations offensive to good taste and decency.’”
We hear that someone named Moorehead could not have their MOOREHED plate issued and that the brave person who wanted 420EDDI because, as their application states, “It has no meaning I just want to get it because I like it that’s it,” was rejected by a bunch of buzz-killing squares. Sadly, the sophisticate who tried to get HUF4RTD through by submitting paperwork that says it means “have unwavering faith (4) respect the Day” is also shown here in final defeat.
Each one is a simple delight. A few other gems, further enhanced by the dry bureaucratic language of the DMV paperwork Braslow reviewed, include someone claiming that they want 808B8D because “the lettering and numbers in this plate are the same as a chest my grama (sic) left me when she passed away.” The DMV response? “Looks similar to a text penis.” There’s also the “nurse anesthetist” applying for GASPASR, which the evil DMV rejected with a note saying, “Gas passer, she passes gas (farts).”
Braslow, knowing his work could not be contained in a single article, also tweeted out a selection from the “hundred of plates that didn’t make it into the article.” Thanks to his efforts, we’re shown the raw documentation that thwarted beautiful work like “BONEDAD,” “PJ$JZZZ” (the “$” stands in for a heart), and “LICKBLZ.”
Read the full article for the complete list of plate applications and to shed a tear for the poor driver denied the ability to share that their son has finally moved out of the house through the time-honored tradition of a DICKOUT license plate.
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