Oregon DMV explains why some custom license plates are rejected - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon DMV explains why some custom license plates are rejected

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From alcohol and drug references, to sexual references, and even flat-out offensive ones: FOX 12 asked for a list of all the custom plates rejected by the Oregon DMV in 2017. 

"DAYDRK", "SWTBUD", and "BITEME" are just a few of the custom license plates proposed by Oregon drivers that we can show you from the list. They're also custom license plates the state rejected last year. 

"Yeah, no," Kat Schon reading the list said. "That's not good."

"A couple made me giggle, yeah," Ian Gustafson said. 

David House is the spokesperson for the Oregon DMV. He's also part of a five-member panel that votes on the custom plates that make it through and the ones that don't. 

"So when people submit an application for a custom plate, they give us three choices," House said. "They're in order for their preference and, of course, it will go through an automated process that automatically rejects anything that's already taken."

He said anything that's clearly offensive is also automatically rejected. 

"I mean the real simple ones that you could probably think of any time, but we don't say on television," House said. 

Anything that's left, ends up in the panel's hands. 

"We use tools like the Urban Dictionary and of course Google, and we can see new slang and that's our biggest issue is we're seeing new slang, especially for drugs and drug use," he said. 

According to the custom plate application, the following are not allowed: 

  • Reference to intimate bodily parts or to sexual or excretory functions.
  • Reference in an alarming or offensive manner to a person or class of persons on the basis of race, color, gender, ethnic heritage, national origin, or other characteristics.
  • Suggesting that the vehicle to which the custom plate is issued is an official vehicle of a public agency when it is not.
  • Reference to illegal acts.
  • Reference to alcoholic beverages or controlled substances or paraphernalia used in the consumption thereof. 

"Even on the wine country plate," House said. "When the legislature approved that plate, it was really for a tourism kind of approach, not to change the custom plate rules."

House said he understands not everyone is trying to get something past them. 

"One thing that we often see is that somebody will submit their name and it really is their name, we know it's their name because they're on the vehicle and we have record, but it's Coors or Beer or Beers or something like that," he said. 

But he said rules are rules and no matter the letter or number combination, the DMV will catch it if it breaks one. 

"People try and get creative," he said. 

House said once or twice a year, they'll receive a complaint about a plate on the road. Most often, he said it's a new drug or sexual reference that's turned into slang after the plate was approved. When that happens, they will recall it. 

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