At first sight, it looks like a normal license plate. But when viewed in a mirror, the specialized license plate spells a prohibited word.
Well, one California driver managed to get a specialized license plate with a prohibited word, according to reports.
According to Opposing Views, a man named George F. Chamberlain received the first license plate issued.
California Department of Motor Vehicles’ rules, however, explained that personalized license plates cannot: “Be offensive or slang in ANY language, interchange letters and numbers to look like other plates, or resemble an existing license plate.”
DMV rules on personalized plates noted that you may choose your own combination of letters, numbers, and other characters. “Standard plates that are personalized allow for 2 to 7 characters. Other personalized license [plates can have] a varying number of characters based on what kind of plate you choose to personalize,” DMV rules stated.
California also offers special interest plates, military plates, and historical plates aside from personalized plates.
“Special interest plates reportedly help fund various state projects and programs, including those dealing with agriculture, the arts, coastal preservation, firefighters, pets, child health and safety, preservation, conservation, recreation, and more,” Opposing Views noted.
More details from Opposing Views report:
Military plates include Congressional Medal of Honor, Gold Star Family, Legion of Valor, Pearl Harbor Survivor, Ex-Prisoner of War, and Purple Heart. In addition, “Veterans’ Organization plates are available to anyone who wishes to order one to represent their pride in the nation’s military.”
Historical plates are also available “for motor vehicles that are of historical interest” that were built after 1922 and at least 24-years-old.
The first license plate of any kind was issued in 1901, when New York passed a law requiring motor vehicle owners to register with the state, reports Time magazine.
The law required license plates to include “the separate initials of the owner’s name placed upon the back thereof in a conspicuous place, the letters forming such initials to be at least three inches in height.”