Every year, the N.C. Department of Transportation rejects thousands of vanity plates for a host of reasons – they’re vulgar, racist, profane, political, etc. 2016 was no different.
By far, the largest share of the 7,403 rejected license plates refer explicitly to sex and genitalia, according to a list provided to the Observer by the DOT. But that’s not the only category people the state rejects.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the range of banned license plates included more political slogans last year. Among them: LCKHERUP, an apparent reference to the “Lock her up!” chants common at rallies during Donald Trump’s presidential campaign last year. DMPTRUMP was also barred, as was FTRUMP, IMPCH45, N0TMYPRZ and RESIST45.
Others referenced the former president: 0BAMADIE, 0BAMALIE, 0BAMALYE and 0BAMASUX were all turned down.
According to John Brockwell, a communications officer with the Division of Motor Vehicles, a committee reviews the applications for vanity plates. He did not explain the guidelines the committee uses to reject the plates.
Interestingly, the state has added 2,500 plates to the banned list since mid-2015.
A full list of the banned plates can be viewed here. Below are some observations about the 2016 rejects:
▪ Some of the license plates referred to the influx of people from the north to North Carolina: DMNYNKEE, DMNYNKES and other variations were among the plates rejected. There are a dozen variations of “M—Hole,” a derogatory term for people from Massachusetts.
▪ Others refer to criminal activity and violence: DRUGDLR, DRUGM0NY, ASSASIN, KILLER, KILLISIS – all rejected.
▪ Many were racial – KKK was turned down, not surprisingly, as were a number of ethnic slurs.
▪ A number of movie and TV references were also rejected, including JAI H0! and NCC-1701, the starship from Star Trek.
▪ The DOT rejected a whopping 259 attempts to get the numbers “69” on a vanity plate.
▪ Some were religious – ANTIJEW, ALLAH, JESUIT and C0P4G0D were all turned down.
▪ Others were economic: NAFTASUX was rejected, for instance.
▪ Some others were related to college sports: HATEUNC, IH8HEELS, NCSU F-U, SCRUD00K were among those rejected in the category.
▪ The DOT review committee also rejected several plates in Spanish. Among them: MAS CUL0, LA PUTA and LECHE.
▪ MATHSUX was rejected. And the state doesn’t allow vanity plates that degrade itself: NCDMVSUX, NCDOTSUX and N.C. SUX were all turned down.
Photo: Charlotte Observer Files