license plates

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Pentagon Official in Trouble for Stealing License Plates

He left threatening note on nanny's car

(Newser) - A top Pentagon official known as a "stickler for the rules" almost ended up in prison for harassing a nanny who parked in his upscale Washington, DC, neighborhood, the Washington Post reports. Cops say Bryan Whitman stole the nanny's license plates three times in April after leaving a... More »

Cardboard License Plate Doesn't Fool NY Cops

Twentysomething driver is now in trouble

(Newser) - Just a heads-up: Authorities in Springville, NY, do not accept license plates made of cardboard. Erie County sheriff's deputies say they spotted a woman driving 35 miles south of Buffalo on Wednesday without a front license plate, reports WIVB . On the back of her vehicle was a rectangle, painted... More »

Minnesota Sorry for Issuing 'FMUSLMS' License Plate

It will be revoked immediately

(Newser) - Someone at the Minnesota Department of Public Safety was maybe not paying close attention when they issued a personalized license plate reading "FMUSLMS" back in June. The plates got attention after a Somali community activist posted a picture of one on Facebook over the weekend, and now the DPS... More »

Va. Gov: Dump Confederate License Plates

Symbol 'unnecessarily divisive and hurtful': Terry McAuliffe

(Newser) - Walmart has dumped its Confederate flag merchandise , South Carolina pols are pushing to rid the symbol from the Capitol , and now Virginia's governor says he wants to erase the icon he calls "unnecessarily divisive and hurtful" from license plates. Terry McAuliffe announced his intentions this morning in Richmond,... More »

SCOTUS: Texas Doesn't Have to Allow Confederate Plate

Plates are government property, not like bumper stickers

(Newser) - The Supreme Court today upheld Texas' refusal to issue a license plate bearing the Confederate battle flag, rejecting a free-speech challenge. The court said in a 5-4 ruling that Texas can limit the content of license plates because they're state property and not the equivalent of bumper stickers. The... More »

Cali Woman Horrified to Get 'Satanic' License Plate

DMV says system randomly spits out plate numbers, but Bobbie Larkins doesn't care

(Newser) - For reasons unspecified, you won't find the letters "I," "O," or "Q" in the first or third alpha positions of the alpha-numeric sequence on California passenger license plates, per that state's DMV . But there's nothing that prevents the system there from churning... More »

Confederate Flag on Texas Plates Heads to High Court

Supreme Court to decide if state has right to ban what some see as offensive

(Newser) - The Supreme Court today considers whether Texans should have the right, as folks in nine other states do, to drive around with a license plate bearing the Confederate flag. The Sons of Confederate Veterans—a "heritage organization," as per spokesman Ben Jones, and "not a bunch of... More »

Cops: Man Attacked Brother With 'Jesus' Vanity Plate

'Turn the other cheek' probably wouldn't have helped here

(Newser) - State police say a man threw a "Jesus" vanity license plate at his older brother during a fight in Pennsylvania, cutting him badly enough to require treatment by paramedics. Forty-five-year-old James Wiles, of Springhill Township, is charged with simple assault and harassment over the argument with his 47-year-old brother... More »

The Feds Are Probably Tracking Your Car

Database of license-plate readers is steadily growing

(Newser) - Attention highway drivers: Smile, the DEA is watching. The feds are making use of license-plate reading technology to run a database that tracks millions of cars in real time around the US, report the Wall Street Journal and the ACLU . The agency makes use of its own readers on major... More »

Judge in '0INK' Case: Plate Rules Make No Sense

Indiana court orders state to clarify guidelines

(Newser) - Quick, which of these license plates was approved and which rejected in Indiana: HATER or HATERS? You probably couldn't tell, and that, along with a host of other similar seemingly random discrepancies, led a judge to yesterday declare the state's system for approving personalized plates unconstitutional, the Indy ... More »

Atheist Sues After NJ Rejects Her License Plate

State deems '8THEIST' offensive

(Newser) - New Jersey has a free-speech lawsuit on its hands after a woman's attempt to score an atheist license plate got rejected, reports NJ.com . Shannon Morgan says it was bad enough when she typed in 8THEIST on the state website and learned that it was deemed objectionable. But when... More »

License Plate in Georgia Has Confederate Flag

New specialty plate raises old debate over heritage vs. offensiveness

(Newser) - Georgia officials have once again approved a specialty license plate featuring the Confederate flag, infuriating civil rights advocates and renewing a debate among those who believe the symbol honors Confederate heritage and those who see it as racially charged. The Georgia division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans requested the... More »

Michigan: We're Protecting Kids From 'WAR SUX' Plate

State defends rejection of personalized license plate

(Newser) - Michigan rejected a Washtenaw County man's request for a personalized license plate reading "WAR SUX," and the state says it's all about protecting the children. David DeVarti, with the help of the ACLU, sued over the rejection, accusing officials of violating the First Amendment, but lawyers... More »

Nazi Bus Driver Loses 'Not See' Plate

Calif. school bus driver suspended

(Newser) - The "NOT SEE" message on the vanity license plate was subtle enough to get past the DMV—but the meaning became pretty clear when San Diego school bus driver Shawn Calpito displayed it under a Nazi swastika on the back of his car. The California DMV has now canceled... More »

ACLU: Millions of Innocent Drivers Being Tracked

Vast databases store info on your plate, movements

(Newser) - You know about speed cameras and red-light cameras. But did you know about plate-reading cameras? Few people do, and that's a worry for the ACLU, which says the cameras are infringing on our civil liberties. Unlike the speed and red-light cameras, which are activated only when someone violates a... More »

Guy Sues Okla. Over 'Rain God' License Plates

Says Native American image offends his Christian values

(Newser) - Oklahoma's license plate—which shows an Apache warrior with his arrow aimed skyward in a plea for rain—was a hit with the public, tourism officials, and even named best in the nation by a collectors' group. So of course there's a lawsuit involved: As the AP reports,... More »

Georgia Sued for Banning 'GAYGUY' Vanity Plate

James Cyrus Gilbert wants to force state to OK plate

(Newser) - Apparently, Georgia wants people to drive straight. Two free-speech lawyers have filed a lawsuit against the commissioner of the state's Department of Driver Services, after the department rejected a series of vanity plates including "4GAYLIB," "GAYPWR," and "GAYGUY," the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. "... More »

ACLU's New Target: License Plate Trackers

Widespread use is threat to liberty, group says

(Newser) - ACLU affiliates in 38 states are filing requests with police agencies today to gather more info about Automatic License Plate Readers (ALPRs), which the group says are "fundamentally threatening our freedom on the open road." Police at the state and local level use the devices to snap photos—... More »

Woman Busted Thanks to 'ZOMBIE' License Plate

You're not too hard to find when you're cruising in a car advertising the undead

(Newser) - One Pennsylvania woman's apparent affection for the undead has led to some unforeseen consequences. Yardley Joy Frantz allegedly ran into a man and his nephew with her car around 7pm on Friday. When the man's son came to help and confronted her, she reportedly zapped him with a... More »

California Raids 9/11 Fund

Lawmakers, governors have used license plate cash for other purposes

(Newser) - When you buy one of California's special 9/11 memorial license plates, which come emblazoned with the words "We Will Never Forget," you're told that 15% of the money will go to fund scholarships for the victims' children, and that the other 85% will go to fund... More »

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