Chances are you've been driving down the road and found yourself behind a vehicle with a personalized or vanity license plate. Sometimes they're easy to decipher, other times it takes saying out loud and trying to pronounce it a few different ways to figure out what exactly the message the person behind the wheel is trying to convey. It can be a fun little game for the entire family on long road trips. Some can be clever, others can simply state what that person does for a living or their general attitude on life. Whatever it says, before it can even be made and mounted on the vehicle, the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) has to approve it first.

Just because you're willing to pay the extra $45 dollars (in addition to the standard plating fees) to have a plate personalized instead of letting the Bureau assign whatever seemingly random set of letters and numbers they choose, doesn't mean you have free reign to have it say whatever you want.

According to Daniel Bradley with WRTV-TV in Indianapolis, a committee of around 40 BMV employees reviews each and every one of the thousands of personalized plate submissions (there were nearly 54,000 in 2021) before either approving or rejecting them.

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Of those nearly 54,000 requests last year, 700 of them were given the big, red, "REJECTED" stamp. WRTV has the full list of rejections, many of which are "NSFW" as they say. I scrolled through them all to find the ones that gave me a chuckle.

SEE: 35 Personalized License Plates the Indiana BMV Rejected

According to the BMV, personalized plate requests may be rejected if they contain the following, let's call them "red flags:"

  • Carries a meaning or connotation offensive to good taste and decency;
  • Would be misleading; or
  • The BMV otherwise considers improper for issuance.

There's no doubt each and every one of these violates one of those provisions, and most of them violate them all.

WARNING: Some of these may be considered Not Safe for Work

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