In case you’re wondering, no… you can’t put anything you want on your licence plate. (And that Seinfeld episode was probably never realistic, either.)
The Canadian Taxpayer Federation’s Jordan Bateman posted a list of “vanity” licence plate names turned down by ICBC over the course of nearly two years (Jan. 1, 2011-Oct. 2013) on Monday, and the rejects include a number of combinations deemed “offensive”, “suggestive”, “political”, or simply “not in good taste”.
From Bateman, on TaxPayer.com:
Among the ones that didn’t make the cut: ITALIA, CANADA, MI6, JUICED (Jose Canseco living in B.C.?), BEER ME, GR8 ALE, DRINK, TKEYLA, OMG-LOL (Darned kids and their texting), DOG, ZEN, BUDHA, 4 JESUS (Amen), GOGLES, RUN26 2, KES 017 (Sorry, Ryan), HOT 24-7 (why, thank you), CURSED, OVRKLL, YANKEE (This is Red Sox country, apparently), STOLEN, GUN-NUT, LMAO, LAR DAS, ICBC, RCMP (Officer, how can you ticket me? I’m RCMP), HAMSTER, and many, many more.
Also stiffed were plate names like WU TANG (referring to the rap group Wu Tang Clan), and FUBAR.
(The full list is available in an Excel document here. The turned-down plates were placed into 10 categories.)
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation obtained the list through a Freedom of Information request, and 2,193 vanity plates were revealed.
“We will not issue personalized licence plates that combine letters and numbers in a way that may be interpreted as vulgar, indecent or offensive to anyone,” said ICBC’s Adam Grossman to Global News. A few types of slogans that are unacceptable are those that conflict with a current regular plate series, slogans with religious or sexual overtones, or those that promote illegal, crude, alcohol or speed/racing-related connotations.”