A driver in California has managed to get a personalised licence plate which spells out a prohibited word when viewed in a mirror, according to Boing Boing. The California Department of Motor Vehicles states that personalised plates cannot be offensive or slang in any language, nor can they interchange letters and numbers to resemble other plates or an existing licence plate.
However, the driver of the truck with the unusual plate has managed to slip past the rules. Personalised plates can be created using a combination of letters, numbers and other characters, with standard plates that are personalised allowing for two to seven characters, while other personalised plates can have a varying number of characters depending on the type of plate chosen.
Alongside personalised plates, California also offers special interest plates, military plates and historical plates, which can help fund various state projects and programs including agriculture, the arts, coastal preservation, firefighters, pets, child health and safety, preservation, conservation and recreation. Military plates include options such as Congressional Medal of Honor, Gold Star Family, Legion of Valor, Pearl Harbor Survivor, Ex-Prisoner of War, and Purple Heart. Veterans’ Organisation plates are also available, while historical plates can be issued for motor vehicles of historical interest built after 1922 and at least 24-years-old.
The first licence plate was issued in 1901, when New York passed a law requiring motor vehicle owners to register with the state, requiring license plates to include the separate initials of the owner’s name placed on the back thereof in a conspicuous place. The letters forming the initials had to be at least three inches in height, and the first licence plate was issued to a man named George F. Chamberlain.