It’s Saturday. It’s beautiful outside and we’re going to hit the car show at Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend today. So we’ll see lots of cars from around the country and many will have vanity license plates. (Not to mention all the vanities that abound – this is Las Vegas)
So this morning, I saw this piece about a woman in New Jersey whose request for a vanity plate was rejected because it was for the word 8THEIST.
She is suing the state of New Jersey.
New Jersey: please take that money you’re spending on defending the decision to deny the plate and fix some roads, for cripes sakes.
A person who buys a vanity plate often also states his or her opinion/conviction/support of oh, their senator or president; their sexual orientation/marriage; for/against guns, abortion; organic food, zumba fitness; university/pro sports team; love of cats/dogs/ferrets; and free speech – on their car.
Cost of entry to add those messages is really cheap.
What I find odd is – that while one can spend almost nothing to paste their personal messages all over their car, and that they are willing to pay a premium to make that message [semi] permanent on their car – the government of any given state wants to decide that it is inappropriate to say it on a license plate, and they don’t want that extra money paid (usually every year unless you live in Oregon and licensing a car cost almost nothing), even though their state legislature decided that vanity plates would be an awesome way to make extra cash to repair (uh-um) all the roads.
I understand keeping all the bad words off plates. People don’t usually write f*ck you in the dirt on the back window of their mini-van. If they’re not willing to make that statement in dirt, then they shouldn’t get it on a plate. Besides, it’s rude. There’s enough rudeness on the road.
But this is a Freedom of Speech issue.
I live in Nevada. Home of Ranchers, Gambling, Legal Brothels (outside of two counties), millions of acres of Beautiful Desert, Sunshine 360 days a year, and Bars that are open 24 / 7. I’ve seen first-hand how the First Amendment is handled on a license plate.*
Another thing we have in Nevada – an awesome Rockabilly Weekend – that, I hear, will now be twice a year.
So, be free and have a great weekend. I can’t wait to see cool rides and hear Los Straitjackets.
Oh, and one last thought. If that plate you want is already taken, please don’t try so hard to make it work with numbers and such. It makes me crazy trying to figure out what your plate says.