Texas DMV rejects vegan license plates over ‘vulgar’ phrase

from: Kelsey Thompson



TEXAS (KXAN) — A proposed Houston resident’s license plate was rejected by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, with the state agency saying the application contained “vulgar” language.

According to a statement from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Cathy Cryar has applied for a license plate that says “LVTOFU”. A PETA spokesperson stated that the license plate “is free of profanity and is intended to inspire more people to try tofu.”

However, a spokesman for the Texas DMV stated that the phrase contained “a common acronym for a vulgar term”.

“When considering a personalized alphanumeric template, the department does not need to take into account the subjective intent of the applicant or the declared value,” the Texas Administrative Code states in part. Under this administrative code, automatic disqualifications for license plate applications include:

  • The alphanumeric pattern conflicts with the current or proposed numbering system for regular Texas DMV license plates.
  • The Texas DMV director or director-designate finds the proposed sign “unacceptable”. Unacceptable alphanumeric patterns may include words or phrases; slang in any language; patterns viewed in mirror image; or code that only a small segment of the community can understand.
  • This phrase is obscene in regards to sexual intercourse, genital parts of the body, functions, etc. The alphanumeric pattern “69” is also prohibited unless used with a full year, such as 1969, or “in combination with a reference to a vehicle “.
  • The phrase is directly or indirectly vulgar, referring to profanity, expletives or expletives.
  • The phrase is derogatory, with direct or indirect references to a person, group, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexuality, etc.

PETA officials said Cryar has filed an appeal, arguing that the license plate contains not profanity but a pro-vegan message.

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