Inside vanity plate rejections

Why the California DMV said 'no'

SAN DIEGO, CA (KGTV/CNN) – California taxpayers are shelling hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for the state DMV to accept or reject personalized license plates.

Some of the requests are funny, offensive, or too explicit. And the responses by DMV workers may raise eyebrows as well.

For example, a San Diego Unified School District bus driver had “NOT SEE” on his license plate. The plate was under a swastika.

Drivers complained and sent in pictures. The DMV canceled the plate.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles said the request must have slipped by them, which is actually quite rare.

It should have been part of the ten-percent of plate requests rejected by the state.

KGTV was curious and checked on what other requests they get.

The DMV gets more than 91,000 personalized plate orders each year.

“We review each single one of those plate requests,” DMV spokesman Artemio Armenta said.

Requests like: FAT ACE. The driver said he wanted it because “I’m an out of shape poker player.”

DMV responded with “fat is offensive.” Denied.

Or GANJA$R. Driver said “my Pomeranian named Ganja is my best friend and I love her. She is all I have.”

DMV responded that ganja is a term for pot. Denied.

Or ZOMKLIN. The driver said it was from a movie.

DMV worker responded with “zombie killing. I don’t like zombies, but pulled for the word kill.” Denied.

Three to five employees have to read all requests, depending on the workload.

Taxpayers fund their combined $200,000 salary.

They write their own response for each request. Some have a sense of humor.

This person requested IH8DMV. Driver gave no reason.

Worker wrote “I think it’s funny :), but IH8DMV is on record as unacceptable.”

How about this one: FACK and the word EWE. Driver said he is involved in breeding sheep.

DMV said it means “expletive you.” Denied.

Or 1-BALLIN. Request said “I have testicular cancer and had one removed.”

DMV wrote it’s a slang term for intercourse. Denied.

And this one, BBH4EVR. Reason: “Family initials and forever.”

DMV response: It means “bros before hos.” Denied.

Or how about SHRNK UP. The driver said he’s a psychotherapist, spelled that wrong, and that “shrink up” means get yourself a shrink.

DMV worker wrote: “Can’t decide if bad, but don’t know why a guy would want ‘shrink up’ on his plate. Laugh out loud.” Denied.

The workers review 8,000 requests a month.

Of course not all get denied, and there are hundreds we just couldn’t show on TV.

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