AUSTIN, Texas — Since 1965, Texans have been able to request a personalized license plate for their vehicle through the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.
State law is extensive though for what alpha-numeric patterns are grounds for rejection. Any requests that include plate patterns with foreign or slang words or phrases, acronyms or reverse spellings that “may be considered objectionable or misleading” are subject to denial.
Patterns considered indecent, vulgar, derogatory or that reference race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gangs, violence, controlled substances and more are all eligible for rejection. References to law enforcement or other government or military entities aren’t allowed either.
Through an open records request, KVUE obtained a list of all the rejections for nine months of 2021, January through September. Here are some that stood out:
- “CPT MRGN”
- "DAT DUDE"
- “NOT HOT”
- “EWW PPL”
Six staff members review personalized plate applications daily, according to Adam Shaivitz, a spokesperson for the DMV. If a plate gets rejected, Texans can choose a new personalization, receive a refund for the personalization cost or appeal the decision. Normally, application reviews are completed within five days.
In total, the DMV rejected more than 6,700 personalized license plate requests in 2021.
Plate personalization became available in 1965 through the Prestige License Plate Act.
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