That’s what employees from the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission have said to hundreds of Garden State drivers who applied for personalized plates that were either deemed offensive or failed to meet standards.
George Carlin talked about the seven words you can’t say on TV.
The MVC has the 1,085 words you can’t put on personalized plates.
BARRF, BADAZZ and BOOB are out.
You might be a big admirer of Arizona, but ILOVEAZ isn’t getting past St. Peter of the Personalized Plates, either.
JEW, JIHAD and KKK are off limits, too, as are OLDFART and SUX2BU. Think you’re witty and will get TIH2HO past?
The MVC will figure out the 2 is meant to be an “S” and that, read in a rearview mirror, your personalized plate will rhyme with “Oh Spit.”
The disqualified plate names were unearthed in New Jersey and all 50 states as part of a project by governmentattic.org.
It provided a peek into the often sly attempts drivers will take to be seen in a car that has a funny or provocative vanity plate.
“You’ll see people try to get around any way they can,” MVC spokesman Mike Horan said. “People try to be clever — that’s the whole point of these types of plates, that’s the fun of it, but there are certain words you just can’t say on a plate.”
When it comes to deciding which vanity license plates to ban from New Jersey cars, it helps to have a knowledge of slang.
“The language is ever evolving,” Horan said. “Slang terms and things that might have been pretty innocuous years ago, now might actually have a meaning at this point in time.”
Every once in a while, one slips through.
In May 2010, Kim Romano of Manville made big headlines over her license plates that read BIOCH — which could have been interpreted as an abbreviation for biochemistry, or slang for a female dog.
She said she initially put in the plate request as a joke, after the state muffed a request by the 5-foot-tall Romano to have her plates read BIGKIM, substituting a “1” for an “I”. She was stunned when it was approved.
She had the plates for four years until an anonymous person complained and the MVC sent a letter demanding that she surrender her BIOCH plates.
Her follow-up plate request?
Closest she could get with a seven-letter limit.
About 100,000 of New Jersey’s 6 million drivers have personalized plates.
To personalize their plate with three to seven characters, drivers pay a one-time fee of $50, in addition to the regular registration fee.
The plates have been fodder for comedians.
In an episode of “Seinfeld,” Kramer mistakenly received a plate from the New York Department of Motor Vehicles that read ASSMAN, which he surmised was intended for a proctologist. The plates proved to be popular, allowing Kramer to park in Doctors Only spaces and eliciting cheers from passers-by as he drove.
When The Star-Ledger a year ago visited Bayside State Prison in Cumberland County, where inmates make more than 1 million license plates annually, inmate Michael L. Allen laughed while recalling some of the more unusual vanity plate requests.
“I seen one that said GIGGIDY, like that guy on ‘Family Guy’ says all the time,” he said, describing politically incorrect cartoon character Quagmire.
Parade magazine, in a story on clever vanity plates from across America, included this one from Middlesex County:
IRIGHTI, or right between the eyes.
Horan said some of the plate requests are in obvious bad taste and get rejected immediately, such as racial slurs or curse words.
Some requests are rejected because they use letter combinations reserved for special vehicles or groups.
A football player might want to start a plate with TD, for touchdown, but those plates are reserved for the Transportation Department. SG is for State Government, and requests to have POLICE on the personalized plates have been rejected.
Some plates are on the disqualified list to avoid confusion with similar personalized plates issued in the state — for example, CORVETT.
Horan said applications are reviewed case by case. If there’s any question, the customer is contacted to explain the meaning of the letter combination or provide background, which is used to make a decision.
Sometimes, what seems like a suspicious request turns out to be the initials of a child and a birth date.
Horan, whose full name is Michael Patrick Horan, said he has wondered whether a request to have his initials (MPH) and the year of his birthday (’70), would be approved on a plate that reads 70MPH — or be deemed offensive because it advocates speeding.