Vanity plates

(Originally posted January 2008)

I totally get why people get personalized license plates. It’s a fun way to reveal a little about yourself. I’ve toyed with getting one myself, but can’t think of anything I can really commit to (I feel the same about tattoos — I’m intrigued, but can’t commit to a lifetime of the same design).

I thought about some form of the word licorice on my black Saab, but I figured the world could see that it was black car, and does anyone really care if I like licorice? Then I considered MAXTAXI, because that’s what my car is these days, but do I need to spend $50 to tell the world? Probably not.Wrth50

I saw a cute one a couple of days ago: WTS4DNR. I grinned, and then thought: “Is that worth $50 a year?”

I did see a perfect one for me: ALRDYL8. It’s taken in California, but maybe I could get it in North Carolina… that one I might spend money on. Plus, they’ve got to be cheaper in NC. Maybe after next June I’ll try 40S GR8.

I used to work with a woman whose plate said NO2THAK. My friend Ray and I agonized until we remembered her husband was a dentist. Speaking of Ray, he once had a Camaro that said CAMRAYO. He was 19, and girls thought it was cool.

Probably the best one I’ve seen was NASDAQ on a Ferrari in 2000. A close second was one I spotted in college: IBID.

When he was in high school, my husband drove a white Forerunner, but since his dad (who is a huge vanity plate fan) owned it, he insisted on putting GRT YT on the license plate. It was supposed to be great white, like the shark, but people always read it as “gert yit.”

The ones I don’t get, though, are the obvious ones. I saw a guy driving a Nissan Murano with MURANO on the license plate. Can you really love a car so much that you want to pay for it AND pay the state $50 to tell people again what you’re driving, just in case they missed the logos already on the car??  It’s a little like spending thousands on a pedigreed dog and then paying the AKC for the right to name it Dog.


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