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California Banned License Plates

California license plates prove that your vehicle is registered. They show the type of registration and connect the vehicle to its owner. But some types of license plates are not allowed by the state. This article contains everything you need to know about banned license plates in California.

Banned vanity plates in California

California DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) may refuse a certain vanity plate in some cases:

  • If it contains offensive meaning.
  • If it has any sexual or racial context or profanity, even if you do not intend that meaning.

The official Department of Motor Vehicles in the State of California may reject these words as part of a vanity plate:

  • The DMV may reject vanity plates containing the words “Pink,” “Monkey,” or “Muffin,” as these words are considered as euphemisms for vagina. Words like “knackers,” “anaconda,” and “nards” are also not acceptable.
  • Anything that contains the word “hate” may be rejected.
  • The words “pig,” “swine,” and “oink” are considered offensive and are not allowed.
  • The words "Christians," "Muslims," "Buddhists," or "Jew"/"Jews" may lead to rejection.
  • The word “box” may be allowed, for example, if the car is a Porsche Boxster, but it can also be considered a “vagina reference” and rejected on that basis.

The State of California is one of the most diverse states in the USA. Around 220 languages are spoken in California.

Here you may see some examples of rejected license plates in the State of California.

BEMYBAE California License Plate

One applicant sought a plate with “BEMYBAE” to remember his and his girlfriend’s anniversary. The DMV refused it, as the word “Bae” means “Poop” in Danish.

BMWHNTR California License Plate

In one case the applicant wanted “BMWHNTR” for his Audi. It was rejected because it could be read to mean BMW hunter.

GASPASR California License Plate

A nurse anesthetist applied for a “GASPASR” vanity plate. This was refused because it could be read as "gas passar," which the DMV considered inappropriate.

S8TAN California License Plate

One person applied for “S8TAN” because he considered Saint Anne as an important figure in history. But the DMV denied it, as it could be read as "Satan."

There are many more examples of refused vanity plates. Applicants should be very attentive when choosing their vanity plate name.

Custom License Plates in California

Custom plates can be expensive, but they have many privileges as well. It is not just prestigious to have a custom plate; it also gives your vehicle a personal touch.