Vanity plates a headache for DMVs
Jan 22,2008 00:00 by UPI

WASHINGTON - A move to ban personalized license plates in South Dakota died in the legislature because drivers like them even if the state agency that issues them does not.

Republican state Sen. Bill Napoli told USA Today there would be a "huge outcry" if drivers no longer had the option to send a message on their license plates.

The state Division of Motor Vehicles had requested the legislation, which was killed in committee last week. DMV officials in South Dakota and other states have to decide when messages are inappropriate or offensive.

Recent appeals include one by a retired police officer in New York whose GETOSAMA plate was rejected by the DMV. In Vermont, a man was told he could not have a plate with a religious reference.

In Florida, a committee rules on questionable license plates. Anna Nucatola, a spokeswoman for the DMV, said drivers are "so creative."

"Sometimes they come up with something nasty in another language," she said.

In Arizona, the prison inmates who make license plates sometimes alert the DMV about vanity plates with coded drug and gang messages.

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