View Full Version : "Offensive" license tags

07-04-2002, 09:02 AM
From www.orlandosentinel.com (http://www.orlandosentinel.com)

VALRICO -- A couple who wanted to express pride in their Italian heritage with the license plate "2 DAGOS" are being told to return the plate to the state because some people feel it's an ethnic slur.

Phil and Fran Lascola said they are fighting the request, saying they don't consider the term insulting.

"How in the world could they say this is obscene?" said Phil Lascola. "We're Italians; we're not slamming anybody."

Florida issued the license plate 18 months ago for the couple's BMW but reconsidered its decision when it received a recent complaint.

The state says it has the right to withdraw or refuse to issue tags that are vulgar or objectionable.

Controversial ones have included "ATHEIST," "MUTINY," "H-8" (meaning hate), and variations of the "F" word. After a fight, the Gainesville man with the "ATHEIST" tag was allowed to keep it.

A Save the Manatee specialty tag with "EAT UMM" as the identifier was taken from a Tallahassee driver.

Phil Lascola said he received a letter Saturday from the state telling the couple to return the plate. The Lascolas are considering hiring an attorney to handle the dispute.

"We wanted a personalized plate just to be different," Phil Lascola said.

The couple in suburban Tampa said they don't know who complained. Most people think it's funny or give them a thumbs up, Phil Lascola said.

State officials don't agree.

"The department has the broad statutory authority to recall any license plate on which the alphanumeric combination is deemed to be either obscene and/or objectionable," said Robert Sanchez, spokesman for the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Sanchez said combinations that could be taken as ethnic slurs could fall within the guidelines for objectionable.

Drawing the line is not always easy, he said. The review board tries to decide in good faith by ordinary community standards whether something is inappropriate.

The letter the Lascolas received provides them with a temporary plate until they can get "one of their choice," Sanchez said.

Phil Lascola doesn't want another plate. "This isn't a bad word," he said. "People call us dagos all the time."

I think the choices were unique, especially the "dago" and "eat umm" ones. Somebody's gotta yell about something, though :rolleyes: .

Mike Tx
07-04-2002, 10:44 AM
I always want "3M TA3". It looks good in a rear view mirror.

07-04-2002, 12:18 PM
Wouldn't work down here....don't have front tags....dangit!

07-04-2002, 12:47 PM
They'll probably lose since the State already ruled on dago before when it took another tag.

07-04-2002, 12:53 PM
Here's some more they don't want.

07-04-2002, 01:00 PM
My fave is Bite Me! What a wonderful phrase! :p

I thought about KT Kakes but decided against it. I'll just stick with plain, ole' boring tags.

07-04-2002, 01:17 PM
I have a LE memorial plate... if I had a vanity plate it would say PIPER or AOII (my sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi).

07-04-2002, 03:20 PM
I'm VERY tempted to buy wife # 2's current husband the plate PZYWHPD! :D But I doubt that Kaliphornia would let me do it. :(

07-04-2002, 03:21 PM
My friend has a "XSOUP4U" plate.

07-04-2002, 03:42 PM
I almost forgot, one of my friends, (you know, another guy thats one of the girls...) anyway...this is his plate...



07-05-2002, 02:26 AM
Well probally in sept I am going to ask for personal veterans plates for my vehicle they are gonna say KLAR LOl That way when I do meet people from here they will know it is me LOL


07-05-2002, 02:33 AM
LOL you nut...

i dont think i'd ever get personalized ones.

i had an inside joke with some friends when i was younger, involving the name Smee. (as in "it's me!" long story... ;) ) that might be kind of cute.

i couldnt fit Jellybean on the plates anyway :( and i know one postmaster around here already has POSTAL on his.

this thread makes me think of Kramer and his *****MAN plates :D

[ 07-05-2002: Message edited by: jellybean40 ]

07-05-2002, 02:43 AM
LOL Well I think it would work Have you thought of JLYBEAN? or even JELYBEN? Those could come close. LOL I think if you thought about it you could come up with a personalzed plate. LOL Next time I am out that way you can check out my KLAR plates LOL


07-05-2002, 02:58 AM
I had vanity plates for about 20 years and then the DMV wanted everyone to pay the vanity plate fee EVERY year. Like a lot of other people I turned them in and they had to issue new ones at no cost.

07-05-2002, 10:08 AM
We are so lucky over here that our plates are a national standard. No variations allowed. If you can find an existing plate that fits your needs, and no-one else is using it, you can but it from DVLA.
As far as Florida goes, how do you get by only having a rear plate? Must be a pain in the a*se for you guys :confused:

07-05-2002, 10:38 AM
Florida is only one state that issues only one tag. It really doesn't affect us as LEO's that much.

07-05-2002, 10:52 AM
OK this may sound daft then but if you're driving along, and you've got a vehicle behind you that you may want to run a check on, but don't want to show out as being interested in it, how do you do it? Here, we just figure the plate out from the rear view mirror.
Another question, now we're here, how do you check on a plate from another state? Is there a national database?
Sorry to deviate the thread but I gotta know (Dunno why really, 100% not interested in traffic matters but am a trivia sponge)

07-05-2002, 10:53 AM
I love the front plate concept as 90% of the cars I see are driving the other way. The only rear plates I see are from the car directly in front of me.

07-05-2002, 10:58 AM
Ever heard of a system called ANPR?
If not, I'll start a thread in the restricted area 'cos it's not really for public knowledge. It's a mighty powerful tool that we use here in London. Great help in the fight against terrorism. If you ain't got it, you'll want it.

07-05-2002, 11:24 AM
We can access any other state's records by giving the state+tag number. Same thing with D/L's.

07-05-2002, 11:32 AM
Righty ho. How long does that take? Is it the sort of thing you can do on the radio whilst doing a stop or do you have to make phone calls etc when you get back to the station OR do you have it all on one of those little computers I've seen in some of your cars. (we are trialing an in car Police National Computer at the moment)
If you want ANPR info let me know or I'll never mention it again.

07-05-2002, 11:34 AM
When the systems are up and running, normally just shy of instantly. If the FL or other state's system is slow, it could take a while or never. We can also get D/L photos from Florida drivers over CJNet, too.

07-05-2002, 12:30 PM
Originally posted by Soho bandit:
<STRONG>If you want ANPR info let me know or I'll never mention it again.</STRONG>

Soho, our restricted area is FAIRLY secure. You are going to have to make the decision if you want to post it or not. I'm interested in it, but not to the point of compromising your security in any way.

As for the front license plate thing, I'm sure that folks who have never worked in a state that issues front plates, (and there ARE quite a few of them) there is nothing to miss. With most of my career in California, a two plate state, I think it would drive me nuts! Also in a two plate state, you always have the idiots that want to take the front plate off and replace it with some stupid sign such as "mom's taxi" or some other crap. Makes for excellent PC for a stop! :D

07-05-2002, 01:36 PM
Thanks Don, I'll start a thread over there a bit later, it's not THAT secret or anything, just not a system that we shout about or make public. Wouldn't deny we had it if asked I'm sure. :)
As far as getting photos from DL's, we've only just got photo DL's over here! They're not mandatory. I've still got my old paper license. Still legal.

07-05-2002, 05:59 PM
Still got mine as well. When I went in to get vehicle insurance my wife hadn't passed her Florida test. I produced her paper licence and they had a fit. The only person that had seen one was the owner and he thought they were great as they held so much informatin such as endorsements etc.

07-05-2002, 06:25 PM
SWAT1, you're ex Met right? Get this, we're all getting Police driving permits in the next few weeks. All those points for kerbing will really mean something soon. DI's are a must now.
Getting back to the original subject, who decides what's offensive as far as tags goes. Does someone have to make a complaint about it first. If so, what about offensive bumper stickers?????

07-05-2002, 06:28 PM
Connecticut used to issue only one plate years back (under the assumption that it would save money) these plates were solid blue with white letters. When they reinstituted the 2 plates they kept the same color scheme and just added the little outline of the State of Ct in the upper left hand corner identifying it as a 2 plate issue. (this is also true for all current plates). They have since gone to the lighter blue/white plate and by sometime next year that's all there will be, all of the solid blue plates should be out of circulation.
But they won't.. It'll be easier PC for a stop though and good chances it'll be unreg. or a misuse.

The CT DMV is also changing the look on all of the drivers licenses by using a color code on them so you can quickly tell if it's a learner's permit, regular or CDL license or just an ID card, etc. The samples I've seen look great, easy to read with important info highlighted.

07-05-2002, 06:43 PM
I saw one today I'd like to put in my rearview windeiw. It said HANG UP AND DRIVE!

07-08-2002, 02:19 AM
Just yesterday I seen this plate on a Hummer driven by a black male.... NGA PLZ...How in the heck did that slip past the Nevada DMV? :eek:

Branden Whitney
07-08-2002, 06:16 AM
Some time ago I saw a bumber sticker on a car that said, "Like My Driving? Call 1-800-F*uck You". Right next to it was two others, a D.A.R.E sticker, and a "With God All Things Are Possible" sticker. :eek: That was new.

[ 07-08-2002: Message edited by: Branden Whitney ]

07-08-2002, 08:40 AM
Erm, what is D.A.R.E.? I've seen loads of bumper stickers etc when I've been in the states (In fact I've even got a mug I was given with it on)
Sorry for the stupid queation.

Mike Tx
07-08-2002, 08:47 AM
I think D.A.R.E. stands for Drug Awareness Resistance Education. Someting like that. It's a school program to teach kids that drugs are bad.

07-08-2002, 08:49 AM
Stupid? Not at all.

DARE = Drug Abuse Resistance Education.

This is an in-school program on responsible decision making, and taught by LEO's. It also seems to be falling from favor over the past couple years.

07-08-2002, 12:14 PM
I gave a reckless opp coupon to a crotch rocket rider that had FTP as a lic plate.

The rider thought I was picking on him! :D

Mike Tx
07-08-2002, 01:08 PM
File Transfer Protocol? Police brutality! :D