CA DMV Releases List of Banned License Plates

It all comes down to common sense and good taste, according to the DMV.

By Olsen Ebright
|  Sunday, Aug 14, 2011  |  Updated 10:32 AM PDT
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The Filter with Fred Roggin runs down some funny vanity plates denied by California's DMV.

The Filter with Fred Roggin runs down some funny vanity plates denied by California's DMV.

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The DMV team in charge of approving California vanity plates has seen it all: vulgarities, prejudice, hostility, sexual innuendos and political statements.

Any of these offenses could keep a license plate from seeing the road.

The plate could be coded with numbers, acronyms or even be written in a foreign language. Submissions can include hearts, stars, plus symbols, hands and spaces.

Plus, the granddaddy of all codes, a plate's message that may only be visible when seen in a rearview mirror (think: "3MTA3").

"They'll try to spell it backwards, so the person in the mirror behind you can read it," said Barbara, a member of the DMV's Registration Special Processing Unit.

The four-person team reviews 200-500 plates a day, including Internet submissions, she said.

"It's really hard to say what would offend one person and not offend another person," said Barbara. "'IB6UB9,' would you like to explain that to your kid?"

A few numbers are off limits for plates, such as 13, for its gang association. Fourteen and 88 are banned for their connection to white supremacists, said Barbara.

The team uses search engines, Urban Dictionary, Wikipedia and Google Translation to help find dubious submissions. Between 20-40 plates a day are red-flagged for further inspection, said Barbara. That's when the plate gets sent higher up the chain for a focus group with Charlene's team.

The DMV assembles six people with a "wide spectrum of ages and backgrounds and ethnicities," said Charlene, who also did not want her last name used. They're asked a simple question, said Charlene.

"Would you find it offensive?"

Depending on the group's answers, the plate is either OK'd, or a refund and denial letter are sent out.

Drivers have an option to appeal, meaning it's sent back to another committee with between seven and 10 people on it, Charlene said.

The DMV is open to interpretation.

"'Ice' can be used for cocaine," said Barbara. "So if you're an ice machine repair man, you can send in pictures of your truck with the name of the company."

About 5 percent of offenders get to keep their plates, according to the DMV.

Barbara admits, "we're not perfect," and some questionable plates make it on the road.

The DMV gets about 40 complaints per year.

After three complaints, a plate is pulled without an appeal and a driver must take the DMV to court to keep the license plate.

The California DMV sent us the following list of 100 banned license plates. The list was accumulated over a few years and has some obvious offenders. Others are a little trickier to decode.

Warning: The following list contains offensive material.

How to Decode the List:

  • Asterisks (*) denote spaces
  • Slashes (/) denote a half-space
  • "Kids" plates have special characters:
    • # = "Hand" symbol
    • $ = "Heart" symbol
    • & = "Star" symbol
    • + = + ("Plus")

100 Banned California License Plates

  1. $CASM88
  2. **BOTO//
  3. *RR88+//
  4. / CJR/88*
  5. /$MY/FB*
  6. /HELBOY/
  7. 14 VNSSA
  8. 1IN/STNK
  9. 2IN/PINK
  10. 42ONERY/
  11. 4Q2 AHSO
  12. 502MGNM
  13. 66JB69*/
  14. 6GUNZ
  15. AGT/ORNJ
  16. ALHAKAM/
  17. ASASIN
  18. ASSI/H*/
  19. B OXOF&S
  20. BAG HAG
  21. BBH/HSLR
  22. BHANGUZ
  23. BLD/MFIA
  24. BLT 1 4
  25. BLWN69Z
  26. BOT$POT
  27. CALI4KR/
  28. CIYC/O13
  29. COP CHSR
  30. CRKR/CRM
  31. CUNHE11/
  32. DAWEENA
  33. DOYRGRL
  34. ETAMPON/
  35. FDABLTS
  36. FKBTCHS/
  37. FOCKERR/
  38. FRNCS/69
  39. FSTMFKR/
  40. FTWOSID
  41. FUQSNAG/
  42. FUUGIIT
  43. G*8*YOU/
  44. GENE14T
  45. GLF*SKS/
  46. HOT14K2/
  47. INFTI14
  48. INFTI3
  49. INFTI4
  50. JIMY THG
  51. JULZMOB/
  52. K13OOS//
  53. KILLXXX
  54. KRZY*OG/
  55. L$VED88/
  56. LADOYER/
  57. LMTFA
  58. LOV SUX
  59. LV*HMRZ/
  60. MDC$PP
  61. MERKTR
  62. MGABDAS
  63. MOBOTAM
  64. MRDR RYD
  65. MS$SXY9
  66. MUF D1VN
  67. NOASSND
  68. NRA*PMS/
  69. NUR KULO
  70. OG HUERA
  71. OG TYLER
  72. OQOOQOO
  73. ORGASEM
  74. PRP/HEYZ
  75. PSP 88
  76. RAZAS SS
  77. RBIGBLK
  78. RHOSIDE
  79. ROLN 666
  80. SFFD 13
  81. SIK BOX
  82. SKAS RYD
  83. SMKN YU
  84. SPDLAB1/
  85. SPTN 14
  86. SSHIKSA/
  87. STAYNHY
  88. STUBALL
  89. SUR SOL
  90. SXSXSX*/
  91. SXXXY3
  92. SYT6688
  93. T& PYE
  94. TBLAZEN
  95. TOM**14/
  96. TOWD 69
  97. TT ANUMM
  98. WTF HAXX
  99. XXXCLBR
  100. YNKSUK*/

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