Indiana officer sues BMV to get OINK personalized plate back


I wonder if the BMV also takes context into consideration? For instance, if it was a pig farmer who had the plate, would the outcome have been the same?

If various motor vehicle departments are going to start banning words that are in common usage just because a small part of the population may read some offense into it (and before someone tries to make a point, this does not include words with racist origins), they should stop producing or allowing customized plates. Of course, they would never do this as they would be eliminating a steady revenue source.

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I think they do. In California they do. I have what I consider to be a hilarious plate. In order to get it I had to explain why this word was meaningful to me and they approved it.

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It might be misleading because of the “0” zero substitution of the O – perhaps somebody had Oink before he had 0ink…

I’m told that is what Indiana has now done. (Heard on NPR morning radio news.)

So, I hope you are happy.

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Except that the rule in Indiana has been overturned and the BMV has been ordered to produce custom plates again.

As I am not a resident of Indiana, I have no personal stake in this. I’m not anti-custom plates, I’m anti-inconsistency.


You mean anti-federalism, right?

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Washington will deny plates its DOL overseers deem inappropriate. They also have specific rules about numbers used as letters and vice versa. This was long before l33t speak. The simple purpose of that rule is so that if an eyewitness to a crime has to read a plate in a short glimpse they won’t get “fireman” from “f1reman”. It was nice to be able to still get the plate you want using the letter/number substitution, but in today’s world I can see their point on that one.

I don’t think there is any Federal law in this area, and states pretty much make up their rules at will. Also, I think you meant DOT, not DOL, but I still don’t think they have jurisdiction.

EDIT: Woops I thought you meant DC.

This thread has gone too far without an obligatory XKCD reference:
xkcd: License Plate

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In WA the Department of Licensing handles all licenses, driving, vehicle, hunting, fishing. I should have said Washintonians rather than Washington.

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