Every car on the road is required to have valid license tags to ensure that the vehicle has met safety standards and that the owner’s property taxes are up to date, but most people don’t really think about them until it comes time to renew them. There are those among us, who see the license plate as a pallet for self expression. For them, states have created vanity plates which allow car owners to customize these identification plaques with personalized messages.
We just found a California driver who has taken the vanity plate to new heights of ribaldry, and you will not believe what his tags say until you see him in the rearview mirror.
Most states have guidelines for approving vanity license plates. One of the hard and fast rules is that profanity and hate speech are not permitted. However, as any of you who have ever ventured into a DMV will know first hand, the state’s first line of defense in stopping profane messages is a low level functionary who really could not care less what your tags say.
Now, a California driver has been spotted who seems to have figured out a way to work around the “no profanity” clause.
His, or her, tags read “3J0H22A.” if you are behind this driver on the freeway, you’d probably never pay his, or her, license plates a second glance. However, if he, or she, is tailgating you, you’ll probably be thinking what his plates say in your rearview mirror.
And, let’s face it, someone in a pickup truck with a license plate that reads “3J0H22A” is probably going to be the kind of person that tailgates, which of course makes that tag ever so apropo.
Massachusetts was the first state to issue vehicle registration plates in 1903. By the end of World War One, every state issued them. Early plates were made out of everything from ceramic and iron to leather. While the designs vary from state to state, and frequently include special interest designs, in 1956 all license plates in North America were standardized to a size of six by twelve inches. While many states require plates on both the front and rear bumpers, some only require a single plate on the rear.
Many states include a state motto or slogan on the plate, such as Florida’s “Arrive Alive,” or Missouri’s “Show Me State.” They also offer special interest plates that for a few dollars more can raise money for everything from education and wildlife conservation, to medical research. Other special interest plates just raise money for sports teams and country bands, because they need money too.
In the United States, tactical military vehicles like tanks do not display license plates, even when operated on public roads.
Although, wouldn’t it be kind of funny to watch a traffic cop try to pull over a tank for not having tags?
But seriously, license plates are most commonly produced using prison labor, which some have argued is a form of state sanctioned slavery.
What is the most clever vanity plate you have ever seen? Which state do you think has the prettiest license plates?