Dean Martin’s Stutz had a license plate that said DRUNKY. Don’t know why he’d want to advertise it while he was driving.
And yes, I saw it one day on Sunset Blvd with Dean driving it.
Yes, and the car with the DRUNKY plate ended up pretty much the way you’d expect a car with a DRUNKY plate to end up.
And it’s not just CA that has DMV clerks who are asleep at the switch, but also CT.
HAHA! I saw that the other day on I-84 just outside of Waterbury.
The oddest one I saw nearly floored me. An attractive dressed for work black girl in her 20s driving a newish Civic SLLYNGGRGRL Being ironic I assume but I don’t think they should have allowed it
Way too many letters, in every state…
Saw a Green Peace plate on a 70 Chevelle SS with a 454. Thought it was a nice touch.
I saw Nazi L once and I saw I bop 69.
I can’t think of any specific ones off the top of my head, but I have secretly chuckled when I saw a vanity plate with a different model name on it than the car I saw it on. I supposed I shouldn’t have laughed at someone else’s repo misfortune.
At one point, after watching a few episodes of Trailer Park Boys, I was in town and caught a car with the license plate ATOADASO, a direct reference to the show (any fans here will know what I’m talking about). I guess it isn’t the most impressive vanity plate story, buthe there are relatively very few vanity plates in Maine.
I know what you’re talking about.
Also: There are several online guides to the cars of the Trailer Park Boys; this one is the most thorough, including even police/emergency vehicles:
On a parked C3 ‘Vette in Venice Beach I’ve seen the plate “36DD.” Unfortunately I have seen only the car, not its owner.
Long ago in San Francisco there was a 1963 Lincoln whose license plate
proudly proclaimed 9UNCUT ..
Some years back I spied a 1994 Honda Accord sedan driven by a guy in his 70’s. The license plate frame stated “Remember Pearl Harbor”
First Lexus I saw had a Pearl Harbor survivor plate.
This isn’t exactly a vanity plate thing, but there are a few states that issue “Prisoner of War” plates rather than something like “Former POW.” Whenever I see one of the former kind, it makes me wonder. Are we capturing prisoners and then letting them drive all around the country in Mercury Grand Marquis’s?
My cousin used to have one that said “JFDI”, for “Just f***ing do it”. Apparently he had an alternate explanation that he provided DMV, but after several years they caught on and banned it. I suspect that having an “F” in your plate is almost a guaranteed rejection now…
I’ve had two over the years, the first in the attached pic… My current plate reads EEYOR after the Winnie the Pooh character. The last one I remember seeing on the road read BOOMER. No idea if they were identifying with the demographic, or if they had served on a nuclear submarine. There’s a car in the lot here at work that reads EH ME, and another I saw here at work a few years back said VNE163, which I immediately recognized as the “never exceed velocity” for a Cessna 172.
another I saw here at work a few years back said VNE163, which I immediately recognized as the “never exceed velocity” for a Cessna 172.
What I’d give to see a GMC Terrain with a “PULL UP” plate….or at least “TOO LOW”…..
I’ve seen “XBOOMR” on a car belonging to a retired USAF tanker boom operator.
When I was a kid, i saw a plate (NY) that said: IFLYB17S. Guy was probably a WWII pilot by the looks of it.
A friend at work used to have a 1997 Town Car with personalized plate CAVU 3. Another pilot term. I believe her husband had a hobby aircraft.
Mom’s yellow 2001 Viper GTS had ‘SNAKIZE.’ Car has since been sold and is now somewhere in the Savanna, IL area at last report.
There’s a lifted Bronco near us that has “XFUZ”. You’re only allowed 4 characters out here.
My Highlander plate says “DATADAN” that was a nickname I picked up while working in district office.
I’ve thought about a Transit Connect XLT long wheelbase wagon with the plate “MGICBUS”
There are two sightings we’ve had, both Illinois plates, that to this day have my family laughing:
SCR OTM on an Infiniti QX4 driven by a mom with kids.
HRSHUNG on a ’94 generation Cadillac DeVille driven by a little old white-haired lady.
Many years ago on a fox-body, triple-black Mustang convertible, 6ULDV8. Not something I’d advertise.
I saw this one a few weeks ago and was compelled to make a meme of it:
I’m assuming they’re referencing the Arrested Development license plate joke, they go with “Anus Tart” in the show.
Not being a TV watcher, I have no idea what you’re talking about. But it does explain a lot.
Hahaha wow, I can’t believe the Nevada DMV actually OK’d that… I wonder if the driver is an Analrapist?
An Indiana cop had used a plate that said “OINK” on his personal vehicle for several years, until the BMV refused to issue it again. The cop sued, and the courts sided with him.
And another recent court ruling (early November of 2015) in this 2013 case has again suspended Indiana’s personalized plate program. No applications are being processed for vanity plates by the BMV while they ‘study’ the court ruling.
Some time back, I was driving behind a black Escalade with the personalized plate “DRILLNOW”
It’s funny, but they’re just asking to be vandalized by an overzealous environmental do-gooder.
I once saw a Virginia plate on a Cavalier-SPNK ME-. I pulled up to see who was driving. The driver was a black female about 40 years old. She had a miniature leather bullwhip hanging from her rear view mirror. I did not pursue the matter further.
and on a Pinzgauer: “H2THIS”
There’s a minivan in my town with PB4WEGO
Where I live they don’t allow a vanity plate that even remotely has any sexual connotation. Likewise any reference to drugs or alcohol is forbidden. I saw a list of some that were turned down and I thought a few of them were fairly innocuous. The ones that I hate are plates were the shorthand is undecipherable. What’s the point of having a vanity plate if you’re the only one that knows what it means?
In the UK, you have to use the standard format, which means a great many of them fall into the WTF category, and the ones which really make me laugh are the ones which only mean something if you squint really hard and really use your imagination, and which the guy probably paid 4 figures for.
Due to the restrictions, there’s a roaring trade in registration numbers, so some people have paid 6 figure sums for vanity plates. Having said that, some people just pay 69 quid for a random Northern Irish plate so you can’t tell how old the car is.
Me and my wife were traveling on I75 Atlanta when we saw a nice convertible Jag, we got closer to check the plate and it said; “YOUWISH”. Other occasion I saw a red Viper with: ” WHYSUV”. Never forgot these two….
I don’t remember what the plate said, but someone was using a vanity plate to advertise their website. Using generic stick-on letters like you’d normally put on your mailbox, they put “WWW.” and “.COM” on the body of their car on either side of the plate. Ugly!
The concept sounds good, but the execution not so much.
Some years back here in Ontario a WW2 vet had a plate that said NIP POW. The Ministry was trying to revolk it and I don’t know what the outcome was.
Seem to remember that story but the plate read JAP POW. The compromise was JPN POW that the MTO finally allowed the owner to use. I also remember the story here in Ontario of a United Church minister that had her REV JO license plate revoked because it apparently promoted street racing on public roads.
The one that I have never figured out was a plate I saw about 20 years ago on an old Chrysler St. Regis in St. Andrews, New Brunswick that read MZTGRIS. To this day, I think that one should have been rejected on the grounds that it was indecipherable.
Maybe MZTGRIS is more meaningful in French? New Brunswick is very bilingual, and “gris” is French for grey. I don’t know what “MZT” would be short for though.
Back in the early Seventies in Boston, a VW Microbus with the New Mexico plates that say “Land of Enchantment”: FAR OUT.
Our Indianapolis cohort may remember the blonde cruising I-465 in the yellow Corvette, plated “2HOT4U.” False advertising…
Then there’s this this one which seems a bit confused in its conservation message.
Mrs. Tom’s reads: AMSKTTY, for Aunt Mary’s Kitty (childhood nickname).
Has been a good conversation starter.
My favorite vanity plate remains the one I saw on an S-class Mercedes several years ago in St. Louis. It read “HMFIC”.
These are all very entertaining .
In the 1970’s when the Datsun 240Z was new and hot , a man in Hollywood , Ca. (were else ?) had ” 9 INCH ” on his vanity plates .
Probably got the boys noticing – which is exactly what he intended.
Not really odd but clever
We have a video toll highway and with the plate’s font Bs&8s look identical.
” My favorite vanity plate remains the one I saw on an S-class Mercedes several years ago in St. Louis. It read “HMFIC”.”
One of the reasons they no longer want me anywhere near City Hall is : someone stupidly asked me what the hell ” BMFIC ” means….
Too late I realized I should have said ‘ Big Main FOOL In Charge ‘ .
Live and (maybe some day) learn .
You asked for the “oddest” vanity plate, this one is odd but clever. Seen on a small BMW roadster: X1Y2.
In the 1980s, an Iowa plate I saw in Des Moines said JYC OFF
It must have made him feel good.
Years ago in Texas I saw “GIMAQT” in a parking lot. Gee, I didn’t see the driver so I don’t know if he/she really was a cutie or not.
My favorite was the Wisconsin plate “AHN N AHN” on a car that passed me several years ago on I-94–occupied by an Asian couple, presumably Mr. and Mrs. Ahn. Next would have to be the plate I saw in Pasadena, near JPL: “GOT MARS”.
There’s a Tesla in LA with the plate “GAS LOL”.
In California, you can’t get a plate with the number “69” in it past the DMV, unless 1969 was your birth year, which in my case, it is. 😀 (I never tried to get a “69” plate.)
GOT MARS is truly cool.
And be advised: Rich Purnell is a steely-eyed missile man.
I’ve seen a Nissan Leaf with
In San Diego years ago I saw
Saw “Deliver” on a PT Cruiser, and “Oh 2 be in Arizona” on a sealed beam headlight Buick Cenyury both in Portland, OR.
From the Oregon EV Assoc Twitter feed this morning. (Refers to This)
A guy I used to work with back in the late seventies/early eighties had this tag on his Ford Fiesta: “3M TA3”. Needless to day someone at the MVA did not spot that one and let it slide, probably thinking it was a ham radio call sign or something.
As the story goes, he was following a cop one day that spotted his tag in the rear view mirror and immediately pulled him over. Seeing that it was a legitimate license plate issued by the State of Maryland, he let the guy go.
Well, the cop must’ve called that one in to the MVA… The guy got a letter a while later that said “due to the potential offensive nature of you tags, you’ll have to turn them in” or something to that effect.
After going to the MVA to turn in his tags he got knew ones that said, “3M YHW”.
Somehow the new tags didn’t have the same punch. ;o)
Took me a while to get that one, but brilliant, while it lasted. 🙂
hehehe. That’s illin’.
This definitely meets the criteria for odd: around my hometown was an SUV/CUV, forget the make, model, and year, only remember that it was red, with the license plate “POOCHA.”
On a white 928. “SNOBLD”
Okay, useless without pictures I know –
PED 01 on an Accord (Peodophile …)
SHITER (sic) on a Valiant
NIP TUK on a Merc cab – plastic surgeon?
WAS HIS – must have cleaned him out
I see lots of horrible ones –
UNVME – No I don’t
4MYSON on a Commodore – Ugh, I’d be too embarrassed to drive it
KJ in Oz
All Maine plates,
Likely she’s from Kentucky, but that wasn’t my first thought.
Yes I’m serious!
Say it three times fast.
My favorite, in the industrial park where I worked back in the late 90s, a purple Saturn SC with the plate: URANUS
In the late 80’s one of the young men at work had ‘HOON 1’ license plates on his modified Holden Statesman. Turns out he was the son of the Victorian state transport minister, so when the media got hold of this it caused a stir.
A few I missed the first time:
INMY on an Element–there may be one in every state.
AW ZHIT on a yellow Cayenne driven by a douchey-looking middle aged guy in LA, can’t imagine how he got that by the DMV.
F NADER on a Corvair, but I’ve just seen that in a photo.
4x4x8 on an Accord
IVXIV on an Audi
I have a friend heavily into the Beatles who drives a VW new beetle YLLOSUB. Yes it’s yellow
Our Fiesta’s color is called red candy so her plate is LOLIPOP
I guess I know geeks.
(a cord of wood is a stack 4’x4’x8′ and think Latin on an AWD car.)
The first plate I put on my 1967 Mercury Brougham when I bought it in 1991: ‘I8AGEO’
I saw one around here for a while and on at least two different cars. In CA we have some symbols that can be added into the mix an this one had one. It read F(heart symbol)SRGRT
A friend ran the plates 370H55V on his van for years. He sometimes had the front plate upside down.
Seen on a Blazer with an L-88 Corvette hood scoop in the ’80’s… PSEAFRT.
In college, I had this plate on my Ford Escort: PRE-BMW.
I still have the plate, framed and in my home office.
The irony of the TIPSY Envoy is that its owner probably sees his/her share of DUI accidents. Note the IAFF (firefighters’ union) sticker.
I must not be bright enough to “get” most of the examples mentioned here, but, at the same time, I’m bright enough to realize that personalized plates predate all degrees of ego and narcissism that we see in contemporary social media! Long live randomly assigned alpha-numeric plates from the DMV!
This may just be a Porsche thing… But yes, that was a lady driving!
So? She’s proud of her Friday nights!
I’ve seen a Missouri plate that reads MSTRBCN. Oddly, I saw it on the Bay Bridge in San Francisco. I mean, who would ever expect to see a plate that says Mister Bacon. That is what it means. Right? Sure. Absolutely. Of course.
I have lists of hundreds of these I’ve seen over the years. One of my more recent sightings this year may be recognized only by those of a certain age: JUN CLVR.
Yes, as in Leave it To Beaver. Oh, and I didn’t see the lady driving that car. I’d expect her to be a senior or someone close to retirement.
“Grrrr” on a Porsche 911 with Belgian plates (seen in Brussels).
Actual NON-vanity plate assigned in NY…669-IUD. On a VW Beetle belonging to the company slut…at least that’s how she fancied herself.
Hey it was 1980.
Vanity plate on an Eldorado as it whizzed by me on NY 9-A in the same time frame…
“FUELISH”. (Remember “don’t be fuelish”?)
From my high school days in Brattleboro, VT – early 1970s:
“IOUAF”. On a blue, hot-rodded C2 ‘Vette fastback.
A current WV plate, belonging to family friends:
“SLOFAMLY”. Short for “Slowikowski Family”. But adding to the fun is their having had the plate on a MoPar cloud car, which, to me, has always worn the perception of slow.
A San Francisco 1963 Lincoln whose license plate proudly proclaimed:
Best one I ever saw was on a Morgan roadster: NOTANMG
Vanity plates have been such a part of my life that I can’t remember when I’ve had a standard issue plate for more than two months at a time. A quick sampling:
My Scion xB is SYKE (that’s the main plate that gets passed to whatever is the main ride). Originally it had MAUS CAR, which is what I still call it.
Any motorcycle I’ve owned has had SYKE plus a number: SYKE1, SYKE2, SYKE3, etc.
My Porsche 924S was PZKW 924.
Our van, which is the reenactment and sutlering vehicle is SHRTMKR.
My pickups which hauled the trailer in my 90’s sutlering days was RNDHEAD (because my regimental captain’s van was CAVL1ER).
Before we were married, Patti’s M3 was NOANJEL (her husband at the time thought it was a Mae West reference, Patti didn’t mention is was from a Michael Monroe song – much dirtier).
The pickup I used to haul bikes for antique motorcycle shows was BRIT IRN. Patti mentioned later than when she was driving, people assumed she was an English nurse. Also, being a Rocker fanatic, the ACE CAFE plate passed amongst a number of cars.
Here’s mine. Originally ordered for the totaled MBZ that I rebuilt, the plate took over a year to arrive, during which time I sold the car. I figured since I’d already paid for it, why not put it on my Protege5. Even in SoCal, I get the strangest looks…
Supposedly a call girl in the Los Angeles area had PAN8, pronounced “panocho” in Spanish–cholo slang for female anatomy. The DMV wised up and yanked it at some point.
Seen in Seattle over the years: Y55MPH, MENOPOZ, FIATSCO (on a Fiat 124 sedan), EXOCET (on a Fiat X1/9), PEPLETR (on a purple Saturn SL). I remember reading that someone complained about MENOPOZ (some people need to get a life), but I don’t remember the outcome.
When I lived in North Carolina, they used the format XXX-9999. Still do, I think. The first cluster of letters changes, with new plates using the same first three letters in batches. So a few years ago, I started seeing plates in the format WTF-9999. Quite a large number of these plates were distributed before someone wised up to the acronym meaning of “WTF” and ordered them to immediately move to the next three letter combo.
They offered a free exchange for anyone who had received a WTF plate and was offended, but I don’t know what the take rate was. It wasn’t a mandatory recall, so quite a number of WTF-9999 format plates can still be seen.
As far as WTF vanity plates, I once saw a Jetta with a “MUGEN” plate. Not sure if he had just swapped the plates from a Honda…or if he was just an idiot.
On the cleverer side of the coin, and for one that will only make sense to computer geeks, there was a student in the College of Engineering where I used to work who had the plate /dev/nul.
My personal favorite, seen on an Audi wagon: 4V4N7.
It helps to know that Audi refers to their wagon models by the name “Avant”.
Here’s a University of Virginia special edition plate, I have to admire their cleverness in getting this past the DMV:
When vanity plates were pretty new in California, and the DMV didn’t really review (censor) them carefully, I saw this one on Hwy 101 in San Jose: FKSLK12. It took me a minute, but it was on a VW Rabbit so that helped me. I inherited a vanity plate when I bought my long-gone Alfetta; the seller didn’t want it so I paid to transfer it. The plate is still hanging on the wall in my garage. Not odd, or even clever … ALFA75.
I swear LA has the most vanity plates of any place on earth. I try to document as many funny / unique ones that I see and put them on my Instagram account. I’ll post a few here.
On an S-Class in NYC: THX ALLAH
Repeatedly seen on my daily commute in central VA:
POOJA 7 first-gen Toyota Highlander
PLAID Chrysler Pacifica
SAYLAH V Ford Probe, then Jag X-Type
CADMIUM bright yellow Jeep Cherokee (XJ)
SHIF (Shifflett is a common surname around here) Toyota 4Runner
IGNORUM Honda CR-V
Why, yes… A middle aged man was driving this car. Why do you ask?
On a Volvo wagon in suburban St. Louis, EIEIO, as in Old McDonald had a farm…
2TH DR , I assume the guy is a dentist
I knew a guy who had OOH TAY for years, in Arnold MO…a reference to Buckwheat…not sure if he still has it or not.
Seen in Yuma, Az. N8VUMN. Pretty clever.
Not something I personally would want but I did see C4EAT last week on a Mitsubishi pickup.
Choose the correct typeface (which you aren’t supposed to do) for the 4 and ……
Seen today ~4:30 p.m. on northbound I-5 just south of downtown Seattle: BATGRRL on black Mercury Grand Marquis.
VOLVITO (= small Volvo) on Volvo V50. Spotted in Seattle, but it was a Montana plate.
Theres a late model Mustang GT roaming locally number plate of KRAP why I dont know looks like a reasonable car and I see it driving not broken on the roadside.
Spotted this past weekend in Seattle: HAUS RX on a Mercedes Sprinter van belonging to a contractor.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Notify me of follow-up comments by email.
Notify me of new posts by email.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Copyright 2011 - 2021 Curbside Classics. All Rights Reserved.