California DMV Rejects Tool-Inspired License Plate

Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

California DMV Rejects Tool-Inspired License Plate

Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Every year, the California Department Of Motor Vehicles receives nearly 250,000 requests for personalized license plates. Every year, those 250,000 applicants fill out forms explaining why they want their vanity plates. And every year, it’s up to a panel of four bureaucrats in the DMV to go through them all and decide which plates to grant and which to reject.

According to official DMV policy, “any personalized license plate configuration that [carries] connotations offensive to good taste and decency” is forbidden. And now, Los Angeles Magazine has obtained thousands of applications for plates that were rejected for those very reasons.

Some of them are obvious rejections, like “ONW2BYB,” which the applicant helpfully explicated as “On my way to bang your bitch.” (The DMV’s reason for rejection: “What he said.”) Some of them are a little iffier, like “BEMYBAE,” meaning “by my bae, before anyone else,” which one applicant requested “in remembrance of me and my girlfriend’s anniversary.” The DMV rejected it because “Bae=Poop in Danish.”

And one of them, of course, is a Tool reference. One music nerd living in California requested the license plate “AENIMA,” explaining that it’s “The rock band Tool’s second album title from 1996.” The DMV’s response? “Custom meaning is true, but sounds like Enema.” And the verdict? “No.” Sorry, Maynard.

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