For years, the State of Maine was like the wild west when it came to license plates.  For a time, you could have nearly ANYTHING as your plate number.  No matter how profane it was, if you could fit it in the available spaces, you could have it as a vanity plate.

Then, in 2021, a new law was passed that prohibited profane and violent things from being your license plate number.  It took months to get all of the details worked out but, according to a WGME / CNN article, the first license plate recall letters were sent out in October of 2022.

According to a WCSH 6 story, over 250 "inappropriate" license plates have been recalled this year.

Unfortunately, a small group of people at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles is responsible for deciding what is obscene and what is not.  Sometimes, because you only know what you know, these people misunderstand what is inferred by the plate.

As a result, some people are fighting to keep their license plates.

For example, Peter Starostecki recently had a hearing with a reprsentative from the Maine BMV in order to keep his LUVTOFU vanity plate.  While someone apparently took it to mean a vulgar comment about sexual intercourse, Starostecki said he is a vegan who loves to eat tofu.

According to the News Center Maine article, he said:

It’s my protest against eating meat and animal products

Starostecki reportedly did not win his challenge.  Instead, he was offered the plate V3GAN.  Instead, he chose to give up on vanity plates.  On the plus side, he'll save a few bucks not having a vanity plate.

If it means that much to them, anyone who loses the appeal with the BMV can sue in Superior Court.  So far, no one has taken that step.

Currently, the State of Maine has about 120,000 vanity plates.

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