Sunday, June 16, 2013

Texas bans crude license plate

by +Brad Naylor

A doctor from Texas has had his personalized license plate revoked after numerous complaints that it is offensive and crude. Seymour Kuntz M.D., a 37 year old gynecologist at Dallas Medical Center, registered the plate in 2008 with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV), who processed the application without question or hesitation regarding possible offensive messages.

Banned license plate
Offensive or Descriptive?
Dr. Kuntz told us, "I don't understand why anyone would find my license plate offensive. I registered it in 2008 and it passed all of the DMV criteria. The first I knew that it was considered offensive was when they [TxDMV] sent me a letter giving me 14 days to bring my plates in, along with a $36 check to purchase state issued replacements. I paid $600 to use this plate for 10 years and I won't get even a partial refund on that fee."

The screening tests, we were told, are in place to prevent obscenities appearing on license plates. We asked TxDMV to re-screen Dr. Kuntz's plate and it passed again, just as it did in 2008. We asked TxDMV for some examples of what would not be permitted through their obscenity screening and they gave us a list of previous submissions which were denied. Here are some from that list:

Banned Texas License Plates
Would anybody want any of these plates anyway?
Why then should Dr. Kuntz be required to remove his plates if they have not been deemed offensive? TxDMV told us that "once a public complaint had been received regarding an obscenity or other offensive word, either verbatim or implied then they have to take action."

"Our system is programmed to filter obscene and offensive words, as well as simple variations on those words like substituting a '1' for an 'I' or a '0' for a 'O', but the algorithm cannot possibly factor interpretation into an alphanumeric sequence like a human can. Obviously someone did not tell the computer that VAG was an abbreviation for vagina and as such should be on our obscenity list."

They also added, "We are sorry that Dr. Kuntz has been inconvenienced by this matter and will of course refund the difference from his plate fee for the 4 years and 8 months that he has left out of the 10 years he originally paid for."

Dr. Kuntz laughed after we explained the coincidence that VAG is a slang term for vagina and not just the initials of the Veterans Awareness Group, for which he has been the state representative for the last 11 years. "When you consider how much time I have spent in VAG added to the fact that I am a doctor, then VAGDOC seemed, to me, to be an obvious choice for a personalized license plate."

VAG image
Dr. Kuntz has been in the VAG for 11 years
After talking with the TxDMV, Dr. Kuntz is satisfied with their compromise and plans to buy a new personalized plate, once he comes up with a letter sequence that suits him AND is not on the banned list. We are asking you, the readers, to leave a comment with your suggestion and we will forward it to Dr. Kuntz for consideration. Remember it cannot be more than 6 letters/numbers and must pass the TxDMV obscenity screening.

While you are at it, why not share what you would have on your personalized license plate in the comments section?


iancochrane said...

Interesting that many will complain about being `labelled' while wearing a printed tee with some message.

Same goes for customized plates. It sure is fascinating what people will advertise.

Enjoyed the post.
Cheers, ic

Ian C - Slap The Penguin said...

When I lived in the UK many years ago, there was a Rolls Royce owner who chose the license plate OBO 110 X which when spaced differently read O BO110X. Bollocks being a British slang term for testicles.

Anonymous said...

If I were a Texan I would try to see if I could get away with :
" Tex As 1"

--Exit2013 @blogcatalog

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