WATCH ABOVE: Global News has obtained a list of personalized licence plates rejected by the Alberta government between 2011 and 2017. Julia Wong explains why they didn’t make the cut.
You won’t see 8THEIST or B0MB on the roads anytime soon.
They’re among the dozens of personalized licence plates rejected by Alberta’s motor vehicles department. Every year, it receives roughly 7,000 requests for personalized plates, and between 100 and 150 applications are denied.
The plates are rejected for a variety of reasons, divided into nine categories: inappropriate, alcoholic and identifying, illegal, political and social sensitivities, sexual, foul language, religious, ethnic and licence plates containing the letter O — only the number 0 can be used to avoid confusion.
Global News has obtained a list of personalized plates rejected by the province between 2011 and 2017.
Here are some examples, some of which you may find offensive:
Roger Grove, the executive director of Motor Vehicles and Registries Administration, said a personalized licence plate must pass several checks and balances before it is approved.
“It starts at the registry agent office, where the applicant must give us the intended meaning and from there, the registry agent determines whether it meets our policy criteria,” he said.
“If it meets our policy criteria… they run it through the motor vehicle system. Within that system there’s thousands of currently unauthorized configurations. If it passes through that, then all requests come to the motor vehicle specialist, where we have a large team that reviews every single one to determine whether it continues to meet our policy requirements.”
The team of specialists also use several tools to double check the meaning behind certain applications.
“We have a team of several individuals that bring different perspectives to review every configuration. But also, we use Google, we use Urban Dictionary [an online dictionary of slang words and phrases] as well because language is changing every day and words have different meanings every day,” he said.
Grove said he hasn’t seen any trends with the licence plates that get rejected, and he also said there isn’t a category that is more contentious than others.
The department receives 10 to 12 complaints about personalized plates every year; each one is reviewed.
Do you have a story about your licence plate being rejected? Email Julia.firstname.lastname@example.org