| 05/29/2017: Apologies--I've gotten way behind on my updates for this site!
There are a lot of creative people in the world--and nowhere is this creativity better expressed than through vanity license plates. Some are incredibly clever, with a bit of thinking required to figure out the intended message. This is especially true when the plate owner had to be inventive with spellings and number combinations in order to be able to convey the desired message (e.g., "H8ER" or "H8R" for "hater"). Even then, some combinations are so personal that they are only understandable to the immediate owner and close friends (no amount of analysis can decipher them, they are an "inside joke" so to speak). As a reference, North Carolina vanity plates can have up to a maximum of 8 letters and/or numbers, with a blank space counting as one letter. Punctuation marks are counted as a half space, while the standard plate system uses three letters, followed by four numbers: ABC-2222. The state began receiving complaints in early 2010 about a particular sequence series, including one from from a grandparent who called after the teenaged grand kids humorously pointed out the text message implications of "WTF," as used by folk under the age of 50...the Department of Transportation quickly offered a new plate to anyone who wished to trade in their WTF plate. Political correctness wracked up a win on that one, I guess--but I mean really, does anyone really give a shit if they happen to know what WTF stands for in the modern context? If that's going to be something--inconsequential in the grand scheme of things--that fires up your day, then I feel for you. I'd rather waste my annoyance on the dickheads who wear their pants halfway down their asses (wear a dress instead, if pants and belts bother you so) and look like they just took a shit that's weighing their pants down. Too bad criminals don't wear their pants like that--the police would have no trouble arresting them when the bad guy's pants fell down and tripped him as he tried to run away... .
Every now and then, a vanity plate slips by state plate censors. Driving in Houston I saw a plate one morning that read "PAN-8." Something about it nagged at me, but no light went off. But then, later in the afternoon, it suddenly hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks: 8 in Spanish is "ocho" and this would make the plate read "Panocho"--which just so happens to be Chicano slang for a certain part of the female anatomy associated with felines...(Puerto Rican Spanish uses a totally different term); Woops!~ :-).
I started a collection project, gathering as many examples of vanity plates as possible (no matter what state they are from). My office colleagues (and some other friends) were quick to join in the fun (everyone got into the game and the list took off, and at last count we had 1005 plates)! Other folks have also had this idea (online sources) and even include photographs--but it is nearly impossible to catch every plate in a photo, so I opted NOT to do this. However, each plate is presented in a form that LOOKS a lot like a license plate--best I could do. The plates presented here are our contributions to the genre!!
I have listed them by distinct category in order to make things easier; however, every once in a while a particular plate could be classified in more than one possible category-—so don't be too surprised if a given plate happens to pop up more than once.
NOTE: The area where I live is near a large military facility, so a good number of the plates that we encounter have some connection with military personnel--and many are out-of-state vanity plates. Many folks have contributed to the project, many thanks!
P.S. This project is a "work in progress," thus, not all category entries have yet been uploaded (the links are active, but some pages have not been created yet). I hope that you enjoy our plate collection! You can MAIL comments to the WEBMASTER,
|PERSONALIZED LICENSE PLATES (BY CATEGORY)|
|ROMANCE (or LOSS OF...)|
|PARENTS & FAMILY|
|MORAL COMPASS MONITORS|
|PERSONAL NAMES and NICKNAMES|
|OBSERVATIONS & REQUESTS|
|HOME TOWN/STATE FANS (City/State/Country)|
|MOVIE FANS & OTHER INTERESTS|