For $150 a year -- or $195 if you want a seventh letter -- Texas motorists seeking a space for self-expression can proclaim whatever it is they wish to proclaim on the 12-inch by six-inch aluminum plate bolted to their bumper. That is, of course, as long as the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles deems the statement suitable.
Editor’s Note: This article may contain words or allusions to words and themes that are offensive or explicit.
The state agency sifts through thousands of specialty license plate applications each year, rejecting the distasteful, hateful and misleading. According to records obtained by KPRC 2, during the first nine months of 2021, 6,714 plate submissions didn’t make the cut.
The DMV categorically dismisses messages that are considered offensive or inappropriate. Last year, it rejected requests for plates that read “FSTMF,” “FKNG TX,” “T3XAS*AF,” “UR LAME,” “MTF OVER” and “ZROFUXS,” among many, many others.
The agency also declines plates that reference race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation, whether derogatory or not. Rejects in this category include “HTX GRL,” A&M GRL,” “MR-KJUN” and “MR. SPEED.”
Also prohibited are references to violence, illegal activities, drugs, law enforcement agencies and government entities. Examples pulled from the DMV’s cutting room floor include “RACE*ON3,” “PURGE ME,” “EAT PPL,” “OFFEND,” “TOO LITT,” “R3DRRUM,” “CU OFFCR,” “TX FBI,” “IOU*IRS,” “TX-TAG,” “GOVNOR,” “MAILMAN” and “TXDVM.”
Scroll below to view all the vanity plate combinations the Texas DMV rejected between January and September of 2021.
Why the Texas DMV may decline a personalized plate:
The Texas DMV reviews personalized license plates before they’re manufactured. While evaluating submissions, staff consider how the public will view each plate and rejects any “vanitized” message that could be construed as offensive. Here are the agency’s vanity plate guidelines and restrictions:
*The information below is from the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.
1. The pattern conflicts with a current or proposed pattern featured on other license plates issued by the state.
2. The pattern is considered objectionable or misleading or could be viewed directly or indirectly as:
- Indecent, including a reference to a sexual act; sexual body parts; excretory or bodily fluids or functions; or a “69″ format not used in combination with a vehicle make;
- Vulgar (swear or curse words);
- Derogatory (words that belittle, demean, or disparage any person, group, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, or associated with an organization that advocates such expressions);
- Referring to race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, whether the reference is derogatory or not;
- An illegal activity (including gangs, violence, implied threats of harm, or expressions that describe, advertise, advocate, promote, encourage, glorify, or condone violence, crime or unlawful conduct);
- An illegal drug or a controlled substance, or the physiological state produced by such substances, intoxicated states, or expressions that describe, advertise, advocate, promote, encourage, or glorify such items or states;
- A representation of, or reference to, law enforcement, military branches, or other governmental entities and their titles. This includes any reference or acronym for law enforcement, military branches, public or official governmental office, position, or status; or law enforcement or military rank or status. A personalized plate pattern that refers to a publicly or privately funded college or university is allowed.
- A pattern set aside exclusively for use on military or other restricted use license plates (like DV for Disabled Veterans).
View the personalized plates rejected by the Texas DMV in 2021
This is a list of vanity plate combinations the Texas DMV rejected between January and September of 2021.
Warning: the following document contains words and phrases readers may find offensive.
Do you own a specialty Texas license plate? Share it with us in the comments below or at Click2Pins.