MVD uses Urban Dictionary to screen personalized license plates

New Mexico

MVD officials are turning to ‘Urban Dictionary’ to make sure license plates that hit the streets aren’t obscene. 

With more drivers requesting vanity plates, state officials said they have to do their homework to keep anything offensive from being approved. 

“You never know what goes on in people’s minds. It’s a little personalization,” one driver said of vanity plates. 

According to the MVD, more and more drivers are opting for personalized prestige plates. In 2016, the state issued just over 3,500. Last year it was about 4,100.

“It kind of makes the drive more entertaining,” a driver said. 

Reddit users even made a game out of local personalized plates, sharing pictures of clever plates like the Juke ‘Box Hero’ or a driver claiming to be ‘sober.’ There’s even a plate memorializing one of President Trump’s incomprehensible late-night tweets — covfefe.

“There some things that I’m like, ‘Did you really put that on your license plate?'” a driver said. 

MVD Express employee Frances Cameron said she’s seen her fair share of personality.

“I think it was French, the one that I saw. It was kind of funny and I was like, ‘What does that mean?’ I had to ask him because, of course, I don’t speak French,” Cameron said. 

State officials said a review board rejects anything derogatory or obscene.

“I’m never going to claim to be hip and be up on culture with the young kids and what not, we use Urban Dictionary as one of the resources,” said MVD Deputy Director Jerry Valdez.

Sometimes one slips through the cracks — like the plate spotted around town that reads “BEEOTCH.”

When that happens, the driver is notified and given the opportunity to submit a new request for a personalized plate. 

State officials said they do not keep track of the number of rejected plates, but that there is an appeals process for them.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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