ILLINOIS – Be careful what you wish for your license plate in Illinois. The Secretary of State has the right to reject any personal or vanity license plate that doesn’t fit their guidelines or is too hard to read for law enforcement.
Secretary of State Alex Giannoulias has released the 2023 license plate naughty list, revealing that more than 300 plates were rejected this year due to profanity, offensive language, or illegibility. Some of these plates were deemed too obscene or defamatory.
Illinois offers an option on its website called “Pick-A-Plate,” allowing residents to create their own license plate for their vehicles. However, certain guidelines must be followed to have your choice honored.
The Secretary of State’s office received nearly 55,000 requests for vanity and personalized plates this year, with 304 being denied. The office flags combinations of letters and numbers that can be construed as lewd or offensive, including expletives, racial labels, sex and drug references, and allusions to violence.
Among the rejected plate requests this year include: EATBUTT, POOPSY and IOWASUX.
According to state law, Giannoulias’ office has the authority to reject any request for personalized or vanity plates that “creates a connotation that is offensive to good taste and decency,” as stated in Illinois’ Vehicle Code.
Rejected plates this year also included some that could confuse law enforcement. For example, plates like XKXKKXK or QOOQQOO were rejected because they are difficult to read and could pose problems.
To obtain a personalized plate or vanity plate, vehicle owners must pay an extra $94 for a new vanity plate, which contains all letters. They pay an extra $47 for a new personalized plate, which is a combination of letters and numbers.
So, when picking a personalized or vanity license plate, be sure to adhere to the rules to avoid ending up with a strange or rejected license plate. You wouldn’t want to find yourself in a situation like that of a character on a discontinued FOX TV show.
If you would like to explore different combinations of letters or letters and numbers, check out the Pick-A-Plate feature on the Illinois Secretary of State website.