SHIKAKA, VOTE and BULL are among some of the less “offensive” personalized license plates that were rejected by the Colorado DMV last year.
"We love the creativity and personal pride Coloradoans take in picking their personalized plate,” DMV Senior Director Electra Bustle said in a statement. “While most personalized plates are approved, there are a small percentage that do not meet DMV standards and are rejected."
Some of this percentage were warnings like “BACKTFU,” others profanity-laced skater sayings like “FIDLAR.” Multiple were political statements and others were highly sexual.
The rejections themselves are partly done automatically through the DMV’s internal systems, according to the statement. It compares the request to an “offensive and omit list” built over time using American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators recommendations, “known offensive words and terms, as well as comparing what other states do not allow.”
According to DMV and Tax Communications Manager Derek Kuhn, the other part of the rejection process is through an internal committee.
A panel of three DMV staff members rotate reviewing plates flagged as offensive in what Kuhn described as a “blind, independent review.”
“Each committee member does their own research and votes blindly on the plates that they receive referrals for,” he said, with a two-thirds majority required to approve or deny a plate. The staffers look at similar resources as the automatic system, but also Urban Dictionary and Google Translate.
There is an appeal process, but Kuhn said it is rarely used. It involves going to the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Hearings Division for them to make a determination. This past year though, only one person appealed, and Kuhn said the DMV worked to reconfigure the plate before the hearing.
“In the end, the customer was happy and no hearing was held,” he said.
The entire list of rejected license plates can be found here.