Oct 13, 2008 7:50 PM GMT
Red_Vespa saidApproving vanity plates/tags: some US states now have web sites where you can check for availability of your proposed plate, and even order your new plate online. Plus preview a replica of the finished product on the screen, using the actual plate style, in those cases where you can choose different plate designs, too.
And the software automatically blocks offensive 4-letter words and other combinations the state has programmed to prevent. But when I was checking for one of my new motorcycles, it didn't block the letters "GAY" which I was considering.
But since there was a disclaimer that the State DMV individually reviews every online request, I phoned them first, and was connected with a sweet lady who sounded just like Rose Nyland from Golden Girls. After some phone pleasantries the conversation went like this:
"I was just online at your license plate preview site, and saw that the letters G-A-Y for "gay" are permitted, and I wanted to verify that availability before I made a request."
"Oh, no, we wouldn't allow that!"
"Ah... is there a reason?"
"Well, somebody seeing that might be offended and complain."
"Offended by the word gay?"
"Yes, this is a very conservative state, and people don't like that word."
"I see. Well is there someone I can discuss this further with, who might be able to make an exception?"
"No, I'm the person who approves all the specialty plates for the whole state* and I just couldn't allow that. We'd be swamped with complaints."
"OK, well thank you for your time anyway. Good-bye."
I did get a vanity plate for my bike, but it was just based on my name. This was in 2003, and in 2004 that state passed an anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment.
* Population <700k