Editor’s note: Some of the vanity requests contain vulgarity.
Michiganders can express their love for a city, team, phrase, or just about anything under the sun with their license plate, but not all desired tags are ever seen in traffic.
The Michigan Secretary of State’s office rejected 21,652 customs plates in 2022, compared to 118 applications in the first six months of 2021, according to a public record. Rejected records included DEM0NIC, DIARHEA, 2B00BS, H0TB0X and H0TDAMN (cue Captain Raymond Holt from the TV show Brooklyn Nine-Nine).
Some of the denied signs contain racy or sexual content, euphemisms for certain drugs, opinions about politicians, swear words, or, more simply, the age-old hatred of a particular southeast Michigan state.
A message was left to SOS spokesman Jake Rollow regarding the sharp spike in rejections.
The rejected messages for custom signs are part of SOS’s aptly named “Bad Word file,” a compilation of tags that people submitted during registration. Michiganders can order a plate at Michigan.gov/SOS from $5 a plate. Personalized license plates cost $30 in addition to registration renewal fees and vanity tops, according to the website.
According to the Michigan Vehicle Code, the department rejects any plate that has a “configuration of letters, numbers, or letters and numbers with a connotation” deemed profane or obscene. These included multiple iterations of Damn, Hell, DEEZNTZ, and rapper Cardi B’s hit “WAP.”
One of the categories with the most denied signs is swear words, with at least 730 attempted uses, not including all alphanumeric combinations. Over 900 tags that were sexually explicit or described genitalia were also rejected.
To the humor or disgust of some, 33 variations of “Fart” made the list, including “IFARTED” and “UFARTED”.
Michigan is open to operating and consuming marijuana, but 110 tags have been denied for worshiping the plant such as G0TWEED and WEEDMAN. This is due to the policy of disallowing all signs describing alcohol or drugs.
Signs that promote hatred or violence against anyone or a company were rejected. At least 45 insults were denied in the past year.
Plates that interfere with law enforcement license plate identification or conflict with the numbering system were also rejected, such as F00000D, L0LZZZZ and Q00Q00Q, among others.
As for references to Ohio, 10 signs – including 0HI0SUX – were rejected.
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