Lost in Translation: Ontario gives honourable mention to 5,000+ rejected personalized license plate applications

Toronto, Ontario — The Ontario Ministry of Transportation has revealed that more than 5,000 applications for personalized Ontario license plates were rejected in 2023 due to violating ministry regulations.

While personalized plates can include between two to eight characters using a mix of letters and numbers, government regulations restrict references to sexual, violent, or abusive language as well as copyright issues.

Some examples of rejected plates in 2023 due to sexual messaging and obscene language include IM.L8.AF; FRIGSAK; and STU.PITT.

One example of a plate rejected due to references to drugs and alcohol includes GUINNE5S, and a sole rejection also occurred for the plate LOLL because it is in violation of the copyright of graphic partners and phrases.

The government also rejects license plates that include political opinions, hate speech, or that voice “violence and criminal activity.” Some examples are OMG.KING; COPS2SLO; ATTORNYS; BAD.BOIS; BANKROBR; and CRIMZ.

A number of plates were further rejected due to religious implications, as well as for clarity and readability issues for law enforcement. For instance, plates that had more than four identical characters in sequence as well as interchangeable letters and numbers were difficult for law enforcement to read quickly and distinguish between.

According to the Ministry of Transportation, if applicants aren’t happy with a rejection, they do have a right to a second review. The ministry further noted that the rejected license plates named in 2023 may be removed from the banned list later if approved in future.



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