[[quoteright:350:[[Wiki/TVTropes http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/TVTropePlate.jpg]]]]

->'''Margie''': ''Hey, Lou, did you hear the one about the guy who couldn't afford personalized plates, so he changed his name to [=J3L=]-2404?''
->'''Lou''': ''Ya, that's a good one.''
-->-- ''Film/{{Fargo}}''

In much of the world, national or local governments fund public roadways and highways, in part, by charging an annual fee to every vehicle owner. To prove the vehicle owners have paid the fee, a metal plate with a unique identification is affixed to the rear or front bumper (often both) of the vehicle (this also gives a useful way of identifying each vehicle). Usually, the identification is a short string of random or semi-random figures, letters or both. Sometimes, the first few or last few digits may identify the sub-region where the car is registered, but usually the digits are assigned sequentially.

However, always eager to express their individuality or the depth of their pocketbooks, some vehicle owners want to have cooler license plates than everyone else. Equally eager to charge rich idiots more money, most governmental units let them order custom plates, for a fee.

As a result, many jurisdictions that issue license plates will, for an extra fee, allow you to choose the alphanumeric string on your license plate, rather than assigning you a random sequence of letters and figures. Outright profanity is usually banned, although some drivers manage to [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar sneak things like PHA Q through the cracks]].

Writers and production designers will often include a vanity license plate as visual shorthand for the personality of the car's owner. A CorruptCorporateExecutive may have BIG BOSS on his BMW or Lexus. A JerkJock may have UR MY FAN or BEST QB. Rich bastards in general are likely to have a CoolCar with a plate along the lines of MY TOY. Heck, the Cool Car in general almost certainly has a vanity plate of some sort.

For obscenely rich characters, '[Name of character] 1', '2', '3', and so on is also popular, as it gives the character a chance to bring attention to the fact that he has ''several'' cars, and has to keep them numbered to keep track of them. Any character with such a plate can generally be assumed to be a total dick.

Of course, this trope is often TruthInTelevision. It inspired Wink Martindale to create the GameShow ''Series/BumperStumpers'' for the Creator/USANetwork. This trope is not to be confused with VanityPlate, which was named after the same real-world phenomenon.

Different cultural reactions to these kinds of plates come from how much they cost. In the USA, this is seen as "mostly harmless" (if a mite gauche) since most vanity plates cost within the range of $25 to $50 extra (with extreme ends of $10 in Virginia and $100 in Minnesota). However, most countries do not allow personalized plates as can happen in the States, merely the buying/selling of official plates with amusing alphanumeric combinations. One of the reasons UK-based people like the ''Series/TopGear'' folks et al. are so dismissive of vanity license plates is that they cost more than 10 times as much across the pond, so not only are you an attention-seeking bore, but you also have more money than is good for you.

Note that in the United States where the vast majority of both fictional and real-life examples occur no state now issues non-vanity passenger-car license plates with more than seven characters (many of the less populous ones use six) or vanity license plates with more than 8. During the early 1980s California was issuing some 8-character license plates, because they had a state law that allowed CB Radio Licensees to be issued their call sign as their license plate number (most states only granted this privilege to Ham radio operators) and at the time, so many people were applying for CB licenses that the FCC had to issue 8-character CB licenses, of the format WXXX 1234 or KTHX 1138. Shortly thereafter the FCC realized it was overwhelmed and threw in the towel, eliminating licensing for CB radio use. But, at that time, you could get an 8-character license plate, at least in California. But not now. So if you see a California car tag with eight characters (other than a CB license format plate from the early 1980s) or any with more than 8, it's completely fictional. Also, every state bans the use of offensive words/phrases on their tags. You'll never see a real-life plate that reads "FUCKYOU" or any variant thereof.

See also PhoneWord. Compare BumperSticker.

'''Note: When adding an example that's heavily abbreviated or requires netspeak to understand, translate. The message may not be obvious to other readers.'''


* An ad for the GSN show ''Series/{{Inquizition}}'' featured the Inquizitor riding a motorcycle with the plate I QUIZ U.
* An ad for a (divorce-specialized) law firm displayed a sport car with the license plate WAS HIS.

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Anime/RevolutionaryGirlUtena'' Akio Ohtori and his CoolCar not only does the plate say OHTORI, but it actually bears his/his school's seal. In the movie, the [[spoiler:cars that people become]] all have their names on the plate, leading to a bit of [[spoiler:FridgeHorror it's quite possible that the Akio Car is his ever-tired and much cheated-on fiancée, Kanae Ohtori, transformed]].
* A subtle example exists in the ''Manga/KodomoNoOmocha'' anime, in which the license plate for Rei Sagami's car is a numerical reference to series creator Miho Obana.
* Section 9's Nissan minibus/concept car in ''Anime/{{Ghost in the Shell|StandAloneComplex}} Solid State Society'' had the license plate NH-3923 (San-kyu-ni-san).
* In ''Manga/SayonaraZetsubouSensei'', Itoshiki is seen driving a car with the license plate "[=Z2BOW=]" (zetsubou)
* In ''Manga/LoveHina'' Seta's van has the licence plate [[Film/StarWars R2-D2]].

* In ''[[Comicbook/RobinSeries Robin]]'' Tim Drake is the first, if not the only Robin to be given a {{CoolCar}}, complete with a vanity license plate. He calls it the RED BIRD.
* In the non-''ComicBook/PaperinikNewAdventures'' stories, the main difference between DonaldDuck's car and that of his AntiHero alter ego Paperinik was the switch of the licence plate from 313 to "X", as a visual sign that Paperinik places himself outside the law in his quest for avenging himself (some but not all stories would also have the car change colours from red and blue to black).
** Averted in ''Paperinik New Adventures'', where Paperinik switches from the 313 to the futuristic Pkar... That has no licence plate.
* In one ''Franchise/ArchieComics'' strip, Reggie gets a new license plate for his car that says NUMBAH1. Archie becomes interested in buying one for his own car but doesn't think that any of Reggie's suggestions (CLOD, PIPSQK, YO-YO) or Veronica's (REDHED, R-CHEE) are right for him. The punchline comes when Archie learns that his car is being towed away and dashes outside in a panic, causing Jughead to comment that his plate should be FFFAAST instead.
* ''ComicBook/TeenTitansGo'': Cyborg once had a car with CBG - 010 as a license plate. Surprisingly, it was ''before'' he became '''C'''y'''b'''or'''g'''.

[[folder: Fan Fiction]]
* Judy Hopps's [[CoolCar personalized Buick]] in ''Fanfiction/{{Zistopia}}'' naturally has the license plate "THPPSMBL" (i.e., [[{{Thememobile}} The Hoppsmobile]]).

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* An A113 license plate actually appears on every single vehicle featured in the animated Disney film ''Disney/LiloAndStitch''.
* Also on Andy's mom's minivan in ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory''. A113 is a common Pixar in-joke.
* Becomes a plot point in ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory2''. After Al swipes Woody from Andy's mom, Buzz Lightyear tries to catch up to his car whose license plate reads "LZTYBRN". Buzz punches in different attempts in Mr. Spell before realizing it stands for "Al's Toy Barn" and that the culprit is Al, the man dressed up as a chicken in its commercials.
* ''Disney/OliverAndCompany'': "DOBRMAN."
* ''WesternAnimation/MonstersVsAliens'': "[=XQU53M3=]" - "Excuse me".
* The licenses on all the cars in ''WesternAnimation/{{Cars}}'' have some sort of hidden meaning, either an inside joke or a reference to the character. Mater's plate is A113, the number of the animation classrooom at the California Institute of the Arts, where many of the Pixar animators studied. (It appears in other films as well.) Fillmore's (51237) is the birthday (May 12, 1937) of George Carlin, the actor who played him. And, interestingly enough, the zipcode for ''George'', Iowa. One of the minor characters is Fred, whose name is also his license plate, and who acts thrilled when famous racecars somehow know his name.
* It's hard to catch, but in the sequence in Disney's ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'' when Genie is turning Abu into various modes of transportation, one of them is a car whose license plate reads ABU-1.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheNutJob2NuttyByNature'': The Mayor has a license plate that reads MBZLN.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Film/JamesBond's Aston Martin DB 5 in ''Film/{{Goldfinger}}'' has switchable plates, with ''JB 007'' on its Swiss plate.
* ''Franchise/{{Ghostbusters}}''
** The ''Film/{{Ghostbusters 1984}}'' have ECTO 1 on the Ectomobile.
** The plate was modified to ECTO 1A in ''Film/GhostbustersII'', and ECTO 1B in the [[VideoGame/GhostbustersTheVideogame 2009 video game]].
* The sports car that comes in for much abuse in ''Film/ConAir'' has AZ KICKR on its plates.
* In ''Film/BackToTheFuture'', the time-traveling De Lorean has OUTATIME (Out of Time) as its plates, which would not actually be legal in California due to character limits.
* Johnny Storm's plates from the film ''Film/FantasticFour2005'' read TORCH'D.
* Bruce's plates in ''Film/BruceAlmighty'' after he transforms his car read ALMITY 1.
* Tony Stark's various cars in ''Film/IronMan'' have STARK 1 through at least STARK 6.
* ''Film/AdventuresInBabysitting'' ridicules a guy whose Camaro has the plates SO COOL. The car and plates were actor Bradley Whitford's own, which he was permitted to use as compensation for being 26 and having to play a high-school student.
* In ''Film/WeirdScience'', MagicalGirlfriend Lisa changes her plates once she gets named by the geek heroes who created her.
* Michael Douglas' character in ''Film/FallingDown'' is known by fans as D-FENS after his vanity plates, as his character's actual name is barely mentioned in the film.
* In the ''Film/OneHundredAndOneDalmatians'' live-action movie, Cruella's license plate reads DEV IL.
* Claw's hearse in ''Film/InspectorGadget 2'' has "CRYMPAYS" (crime pays) as its license plate. The Gadgetmobile, of course, has "GADGET" as its plate.
* In ''Film/BillAndTedsExcellentAdventure'', Bill's stepmother has a licence plate with her name on it: MISSY!
* Bandit, of ''Film/SmokeyAndTheBandit'' fame, has "BANDT-1" as his plate.
** The plate is Georgia plate BAN ONE in the first movie.
* In the classic 1985 John Cusack film ''Film/BetterOffDead'', rich bully boy Roy Stalin's Trans Am has the plate "ROYS AM".
* In another Cusack film, 1986's ''Film/OneCrazySummer'', rich bully boy Teddy Beckersted has sportscar with the plate "[=CUL8R=]".
* In ''Film/{{Innerspace}}'', Igoe's BMW ("SNAPON")[[note]]This is a reference to Snap-on tools; an automotive mechanic tool that features a snap mechanism for different attachments, similar to [[SwissArmyAppendage his hand]].[[/note]] and Scrimshaw's Rolls-Royce ("SUB-ZRO").
* In ''Film/{{Cobra}}'' (no relation to the anime), the CowboyCop hero Marion Cobretti has a car with "AWSOM".
* ''Film/CleopatraJones'' drives off in the movie, with her car having a U.S. Government official plate reading "CLEO".
* Being [[spoiler:an inhuman purple man-eating winged monster]], the truck driver from ''Film/JeepersCreepers'' did not likely get his plate reading BEATNGU legally (as funny as that image is). One character guessed the meaning as "Beating you"; the other said that it seemed wrong for some reason. [[spoiler:It's actually "[[AppendageAssimilation Be Eating You]]".]]
* In ''Film/{{Tremors}}'', survivalists Burt and Heather Gummer have "[=UZI 4U=]" on their 4×4.
* ''Film/AustinPowers''' license plates read SWINGER and [=SWINGER2=]. His dad's reads [=GR8SHAG=].
* Creator/GeorgeLucas likes to reference ''Film/THX1138'':
** Luke's landspeeder in ''Film/ANewHope'' has a license plate reading "THX 1138".
** ''Film/AmericanGraffiti'': John Milner's '32 Ford: "THX 138".
* Jon Favreau's license plate in ''Film/{{Swingers}}'' is "[=THX1138=]".
* All the vehicles in ''Film/SesameStreetPresentsFollowThatBird'' have these. Oscar the Grouch's reads "SCRAM".
** The Count's is "12345678910", which way exceeds New York's usual character limit.
* MeanBoss Lumbergh's Porsche in ''Film/OfficeSpace'' has the tags MYPRSCHE.
* ''Film/AddamsFamilyValues'': the villain has 2 cars, one with the plate reading [=DEBBIE1=] and the next reading [=DEBBIE2=].
* In ''Film/TheNuttyProfessor'', Buddy's car reads PNS CAR.
* In ''Film/SpeedZone'', the Van Sloans drove a Bentley with the license plate RICH KIDS. The character Vic tries to report the car and it goes something like this:
-->'''Vic:'''Uh, the license is as follows: R, I, C, H...uh, I think that spells "rich"..."KIDS"...with a K...for..."kids".
* Parodied in ''Film/NotAnotherTeenMovie'': rich JerkJock [[spoiler: [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold with a heart of gold]],]] Jake Wyler (aka Johnny Storm), drives a sports car reading "FILTHY RICH"; Janie Briggs, [[HollywoodHomely the pretty ugly girl]], gets dropped off for school by her dad in a beat-up old truck reading "DIRT POOR".
* This game can be played with German license plates, too. The licenses of two of the main characters' cars in ''Film/MantaDerFilm'' are "E-FG 18" on Fredi's Manta (E for Essen, FG for Fred Grabowsky, 18 for his 18th birthday) and "BO-EY 1234" on Phil's GTI (BO for Bochum, BO-EY is a license plate-compatible transcription of the Manta driver's CatchPhrase).
* ''Film/{{Spaceballs}}'': Princess Vespa's ship has SPOIL'D ROTT'N 1.
* The German [[Film/TheLoveBug Herbie]] knockoff Dudu was registered in Duisburg so it could have DU-DU 926 in some of its movies.
* Ivan in ''Film/{{Tapeheads}}'' has "MEFURST" - The joke might be that he wanted "MEFIRST" but it wasn't available.
* The lawyer in ''Film/{{Cellular}}'' has a vanity plate that says WILL SUE U 2.
* ''Film/RealGenius'' - Chris and Mitch approach nemesis Kent's car:
-->'''Chris''': Kent puts his name on his license plate.
-->'''Mitch''': My mom does the same thing to my underwear.
-->'''Chris''': [[ComicallyMissingThePoint Your mom puts license plates in your underwear? How do you sit?]]
* Film/TankGirl has got two of them on her tank: [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin TANK]] and KANT on front and back respectively.
* In the 1989 fantasy/comedy ''Film/LimitUp'', Nike (Danitra Vance), a rep. for Lost Souls Inc., has a plate that reads [[SeeYouInHell "CU-N-HELL."]]
* Smokey's car in ''Film/{{Friday}}'' have plates that say "FCK IT".
* The vehicle hijacked by Keanu Reeves in ''Film/{{Speed}}'' have plates that say "TUNEMAN".
* In ''Film/SexDrive'' the license plate of the 1969 Pontiac GTO reads "NOFATCHX".
* In ''Film/DateWithAnAngel'', Mr. Winston's plate reads "WINSTON". Patty's plate reads "PATYKAT".
* Mickey Haller, the defense attorney protagonist of ''Film/TheLincolnLawyer'', has a vanity plate reading "NTGUILTY".
* The license plate on protagonist's weaponized Land Cruiser in [[TheEighties 1980's]] action movie parody ''Film/JakeSpeed'' read SPEED. As an added bonus it was a New Hampshire plate with that state's "Live Free or Die" motto emblazoned across the top.
* In the opening scene of ''Film/KickAss'', a KICK-ASS license plate is showing on the crushed taxi in the opening scene.
** In ''Film/KickAss2'', Hit Girl's motorcycle plate reads "HIT N RUN".
* In ''Film/Terminator3RiseOfTheMachines'', Katherine Brewster's van reads "PET DOC 2".
* In the closing scene of ''Film/TheCobbler'', Max's father rides a limousine with the license plate "2Cobble".
* As part of the backstory of ''Film/AntMan'', Scott Lang stole embezzled money back from a CorruptCorporateExecutive and drove the businessman's car into his pool. A tie-in viral video showing security footage of the theft shows that said car had a plate with "ONEPR¢R" (one-percenter).
* In ''Film/{{Mannequin}}'', [[CampGay Hollywood's]] plate reads "BADGIRL".
* In ''Film/SuicideSquad2016'', the Joker's plate reads "HAHAHA".
* In ''Film/FerrisBuellersDayOff'', the license plate on Mr. Frye's Ferrari says "NRVOUS", which perfectly describes Cameron throughout the movie.

* Joe Hill's ''Literature/{{NOS4A2}}'' (that's the license plate of the villain).
* ''Film/ChittyChittyBangBang'' has the license plate GEN 11. The book has the children mention how oddly similar this is to "genii," or genie as we'd spell it now. Of course, Chitty ''is'' a magical car, but they didn't know that at the time.
** This has manifested as TruthInTelevision, as the British government has, by special dispensation, granted the [[http://chittygen11.com/index2.html one surviving roadworthy Chitty from the film]] that very license number in perpetuity.
* In the German comedy film "Bang Boom Bang", the protagonist has a car with a license plate that reads "DOPE". Of course, he is a frequent marijuana smoker.
* Deconstructed in ''Literature/RedStormRising'', where TheCaptain of the USS ''Pharris'' gets a license plate with its designation (FFG-1094) on it. After the ''Pharris'' is [[spoiler: badly damaged by a Soviet torpedo, he reflects that he gets to carry his failure around with him.]]
* The book ''[[Literature/BlueAvenger Blue Avenger and the Theory of Everything]]'' included this as a plot point: the main character has to figure out how to get the word "suck" past the license plate censor. [[spoiler:The end result? SSCHWAK.]]
* In the ''Literature/SweetValleyHigh'' series, the rich high school jock has a 1BRUCE1 licence plate on his car.
* In the ''Literature/LincolnLawyer'' series, the plates on defense lawyer Mickey Haller's Lincolns include: NTGLTY and IWALKEM
** The film version presents the NTGLTY plate as NTGUILTY despite the fact that California state plates can only have seven characters while NTGUILTY has eight.
* In the Literature/BaileySchoolKids book ''Santa Claus Doesn't Mop Floors'', Mr. Jolly's car has the plate HOHOHO.
* A minor character in a Creator/TimDorsey novel got a vanity license plate reading 'UNKNOWN'. Unfortunately, the police record 'UNKNOWN' as the license plate for any vehicular incident in which they couldn't get a plate number, so he ended up getting blamed for all of them.

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* KITT from ''Series/KnightRider'' has KNIGHT as a vanity plate.
** As one of the many James-Bond-vehicle-like features of KITT, the vanity plate can be flipped over while driving to show "KNI 549" (or maybe it was KNI followed by 3 other numbers).
** KARR does not have a license plate in "Trust Doesn't Rust", but in "KITT vs KARR" he has inexplicably gained one reading "KARR"
** In ''Series/TeamKnightRider'', each of the vehicles has an abbreviation of its name followed by "-1" as its plate number: DNT-1 for Dante, DMO-1 for Domino, BST-1 for the Attack Beast, etc.
** The KITT of the 2008 revival can change his plate numbers at will, but his default plate number is "KR", short for "Knight Research"
* One of the ''Series/MythBusters''[='=] donation cars had ENVY DIS.
** A later car had one that said NODOUDT. (Adam made a point of pronouncing the second D). [[spoiler:Jamie rigged that car with a device to change the plate, and used the old and by-then-expired ENVY DIS plate as the second plate.]]
** The mockup for the Jato Car revisit said MYTBUSR.
* A rare example of it being bad for a character was HSEMKNY on an episode of ''Series/LawAndOrder'' - the custom plate meant the perp was tracked down in no time at all. Lennie Briscoe even stated "What kinda dumb crook uses a vanity license plate on a getaway car?"
* Cordelia's car in ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' has plates that read QUEEN C.
* The [[Series/DoctorWho Third Doctor's]] car "Bessie" has the plates WHO 1. While the licence number WHO 1 was legal, it just wasn't ''available''. See [[http://freespace.virgin.net/dr.dean/who1/bessieinformation.htm this page]].
** The "Whomobile" ''did'' have legal licence plates, but the closest they could get to "WHO" was WVO 2M. (The DVLA considered the Whomobile to be "an invalid tricycle".)
** No explanation has ever been given for Bessie's licence number suddenly becoming WHO 7 when driven by the Seventh Doctor in "Battlefield".
* In ''Series/DarkSeason'' the vans of Abyss Modem have [=ABY55=] (and a random number) on their number plates while Mr Eldritch's car has [=NEME5I5=] written on it.
* Lex on ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' has all his cars with the plate "LEX(number)".
** Similarly, Tess Mercer's license plate reads "NOMERCY"
* A character in ''Series/{{Frasier}}'' had his name in vanity plates. It was made funny by the fact that he was acting all mysterious and Deepthroatish to Frasier just before he sped off.
** Martin's Winnebago has the custom plate RDWRER. Neither Fraiser or Daphne could work out this meant "Road Warrior".
--->'''Daphne''': Of course. A retired man with a cane in a Winnebago. I don't know why my mind didn't go straight to it.
* ''Series/TheAdventuresOfPeteAndPete'': the Petes' dad wanted a plate reading "KING OF ROAD", but it was taken, leaving him to settle for "KING O FROD". During a family trip to the Hoover Dam, he encounters the owner of the "KING OF ROAD" plate and challenges him for the title.
** When Dad wins the challenge, the two switch license plates.
* Sir Alan Michael Sugar's Rolls Royce with the number plate AMS 1 features prominently in the opening credits of the UK version of ''Series/TheApprentice''.
* The Batmobile licence plate in the 1960s ''Series/{{Batman}}'' series is BAT 1 (sometimes).
** In most other media, the Batmobile is too cool to ''have'' a licence plate. It's an armour-plated, jet-propelled racer with an opaque windshield, with extras including knockout gas sprays(internal and external), {{Ejection Seat}}s, and a harpoon for turning sharp corners. And, according to [[WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold some sources]], it's also a TransformingMecha. All that, and the guy who drives it has a SecretIdentity. So it's unlikely it ever got taken to the Gotham Department of Motor Vehicles...
** The villains get their own plates too. The riddler has three question marks for his plate.
* In the ''Series/{{Chuck}}'' episode "Chuck vs. the [=DeLorean=]", Morgan gets "DEMORGAN" plates for the [[TheAllegedCar titular car]].
* [[CompanionCube OL1 V3R]] from ''Series/TopGear''. "He got it a custom license plate? What a pikey." This, however is a fake as it is not a valid plate in the UK.
** The ''Series/TopGear'' gang just hate vanity plates; poking fun at real life examples used to be a recurring segment.
* "The Jackal", videogame-villain brought to life in the short-lived series ''Series/DeadlyGames'', has the license plate "JKL". The final scene of the series reveals that the same plate belongs to Johnathan Kenneth Lloyd, father of The Jackal's programmer (both were played by Christopher Lloyd).
* In one episode of ''Series/EmptyNest'', Charley gets a vanity plate intended to convey that he is a lover of the sea. Since "Sea Lover" is too long, and he's TheDitz, he shortens "Sea" to "C" and omits the space. He doesn't notice that his plate actually reads "CLOVER".
* The 1989 Creator/{{ITV}} GameShow ''Series/{{Interceptor}}'' had the titular bad guy drive a Maserati car with INT 1, a motorbike with INT 2 and a BlackHelicopter with the legitimate registration G-MEAN.
* On ''Series/{{NCIS}}'', forensic scientist Abby Sciuto has the plate "4NS CHIK".
* Kramer in ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' once mistakenly received a plate that read "ASSMAN". The DMV refuses to correct the mistake, forcing him to keep it, and people on the street loved it. "Hey, the Assman's in town!" "You know it!" At the end of the episode, we learn that the plate was intended for a proctologist.
* One episode of ''Series/{{Eureka}}'' has Nathan Stark reporting his stolen car, stating that the license plate read 'Stark1'. (It should be noted that Nathan Stark had this plate before Tony Stark did.)
* Tracy Jordan on [[Series/ThirtyRock 30 Rock]] was incensed when his wife called his vanity plate inscrutable: 0ICU81MI. Short for "I see you ate one, am I?".
* A car on ''Series/TheWire'' that is falsely reported to be smuggling drugs gives the first hint that its driver is actually a minister with its VanityPlate reading "[=PR8Z G0D=]". The cops don't notice this however...
* ''Series/TheXFiles''. A man who [[{{Rainmaking}} claims he can make it rain]] has RAIN KING.
* Todd Packer's license plate of ''Series/TheOfficeUS'' reads WLHUNG, which everyone seems to affiliate with novelty musician William Hung.
* In ''Series/{{Doctors}}'', Vivian had some trouble in a driving test when she had to read a license plate from far away - X565 BUM. It was probably legitimate, but still.
* Thomas Magnum's [[CoolCar Ferrari]] (that belongs, in fact, to his [[TheVoice boss, Robin Masters]]) in ''Series/MagnumPI'' has plates reading "ROBIN 1". And the other cars were "ROBIN 2" & "ROBIN 3".
* The series ''Series/{{Matlock}}'' featured a title sequence concluding with Andy Griffith as the title character standing up beside his CoolCar Crown Victoria and a closeup of the front number plate reading MATLOCK. Funny thing: the US state of Georgia does not use front number plates-- perhaps a case of {{Critical Research Failure}}s.
* Carbug, the Starbug-shaped smartcar in ''Series/RedDwarf: Back To Earth'', has the licence number [=ST4 B11G=].
* In ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', the HorsemenOfTheApocalypse have kept up with the times and upgraded from riding actual horses to driving cars named ''after'' horses, and we saw two had vanity plates. Pestilence's is SIKN TIRD ("Sick and Tired"), and Death's was BUH*BYE. War and Famine would presumably have similar plates, but we never saw them.
* ''Series/MartialLaw''
** Sammo Law has the plate "DA BOMB". Later on, the plate gets changed to "SAMMO".
** A random one-off character sees him in the driver licensing office, and laments about another he'd seen -- DNT N V U (Don't Envy You).
* The 1990s Australian skit comedy show Full Frontal once feature a character called "Captain Yobbo", whose 4x4 bore the plate '[=FKNGR8=]'
* The 60's TV version of Franchise/TheGreenHornet [[CoolCar Black Beauty]] had a number-letter plate keeping that Black Beauty looks like a normal car on the outside. The new movie it has a plate that says "HORNET" in green.
* A RunningGag on ''Reno 911'', two of the deputies would be pursuing a suspect and trying to report their vanity plate over the radio. They would get so engrossed in trying to figure out what the plate meant, that they wouldn't notice the suspect stopping...
* This was the premise of the 1980s game show ''Series/BumperStumpers''. The contestants had to decipher vanity plates, given clues about whom they might belong to.
* PerkyGoth Dasha on ''Series/DaddysDaughters'' had the vanity plate E-666-MO (read as "EMO-666").
* In the intro to ''Series/TheFreshPrinceOfBelAir'': "The license plate said "FRESH" and there were dice in the mirr'r".
* The ''Series/LALaw'' title card.
** And Arnie Becker's '[[AmoralAttorney LITIG8R]]'.
* The Carsey-Werner VanityPlate for ''Series/That70sShow''.
* ''Series/BreakingBad'':
** Jesse Pinkman, initially cooking meth under the name Captain Cook, had a car with THE CAPN.
** Walter White encounters a rich guy with the plate KEN WINS. [[spoiler: And blows it up at the end of the episode.]]
** AmoralAttorney Saul Goodman's car has LWYR UP.
* In an episode of ''Mind of Mencia'', Carlos Mencia spends some time trying to get NIGGER on a license plate. That's [[NWordPrivileges rebuffed for obvious reasons]], as is NIGGA, and NEEGA (he claimed to be Indian, and that was his last name). Finally, he tries to get a plate with WETBACK, and finds out it's acceptable. Cue PrecisionFStrike.
* The revived series of ''Dallas'' has John Ross driving EWING V.
* In Season 4 of ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'', Tobias gets a plate celebrating a new start: [[spoiler: ANUSTART]]. Reading the plate as two four letter words shows just what a poor choice this was...
* The CreepyMortician Dennis Rainbird from ''Series/MidsomerMurders'' has a Porsche with a custom license plate reading "RIP".
* In one episode of ''Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares'', Gordon Ramsey went to help out a struggling restaurant whose head chef had bought himself an expensive car with the license plate "A1 CHEF". Gordon told him that he'd have been better off spending the money on cooking lessons.
* One parody of ''Literature/TheFamousFive'' by Russ Abbot has the ObviouslyEvil smugglers using the registration plate "SMUG 1", while the local dentist has "DENT 15T".
* In an episode of ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'', Skye scams a finance guy to track HYDRA's money trail. His license: "$BILS YAL" (Dollar Bills, Y'all).
* In ''Series/{{Speechless}}'', Maya's car has the plate "SHE NUTS". Possibly subverted, however, as one cop states that she didn't ask for it - the DMV had [[TheDreaded heard about her]] and just gave it to her.

[[folder: Magazines]]
* ''Magazine/{{MAD}}'' had an article that assigned them to historical and fictional characters. For instance, Vincent Van Gogh had GO VAN GOGH, Gunga Din had [=H20TOGO=] and General Patton had one with [[SymbolSwearing obscenity symbols]].

* Music/{{ACDC}}'s "Sink The Pink" video features a lady pool hustler with "SUZY CUE" on her license plate.
* Greg Kihn's video for "Jeopardy" ends with him and his wife (the video depicts a wedding) driving off in a black convertible with the license plate "LIPS".
** This would get parodied as well in Music/WeirdAlYankovic's "I Lost On Jeopardy". At the end of the video, when Al gets thrown out of the TV studio, he lands in the back of the convertible from the original video (with Kihn winking to the camera briefly), only now the license plate reads "LOSER".
* In Music/WeirdAlYankovic's "Tacky", the narrator's car has a "YOLO" license plate (along with a whopping 43 bumper stickers).
* When Music/{{Squeeze}} appeared on ''The Old Grey Whistle Test'', Jools Holland made an announcement asking the person with license plate "PEN1S" to move their car as it was in a fire zone. The band thought it was hilarious, but the audience didn't react.

[[folder: Newspaper Comics]]
* ''ComicStrip/BloomCounty''
** Steve Dallas drives a gold jeep in one strip with a license plate that spells out HORNY.
** Opus had NTITLED (on a cool sports car) and HUM-HER (on a Hummer).
* ''ComicStrip/TheFarSide'': Godzilla has a car with a plate with "I 8 NY".

* The player's Lamborghini in ''Pinball/HighSpeed'' and ''Pinball/TheGetawayHighSpeed2'' has KINGPIN.
* The [=DeLorean=] on the backglass of ''Pinball/BackToTheFuture'' has FUSION plates, instead of the movie's OUTATIME.
* In ''Pinball/RedAndTedsRoadShow'', the red Corvette on the backglass is driven by designer [[CreatorCameo Pat Lawlor]], and has the plates GAME BIZ.
* A variant - the side of the boat on the backglass of ''Pinball/FishTales'' reads "[=IMADV8=]" ("I am a deviate").
* The pink Cadillac on the playfield of ''Pinball/{{Earthshaker}}'' has FLIP OUT. It is reportedly based on the RealLife plates on designer Creator/PatLawlor's Corvette.
* Similarly, the playfield of ''Pinball/{{Corvette}}'' has a blonde in a red Corvette with "CATCH ME" plates, while a yellow LT-1 Stingray has "FLIPOUT". It is rumored that "CATCH ME" is based on designer Creator/GeorgeGomez's RealLife Corvette plates, while "FLIPOUT" is a ShoutOut to fellow 'vette owner Pat Lawlor.
* The time-travelling car in ''Pinball/TimeMachineDataEast'' has KRUZIN plates.
* In ''Pinball/MustangStern'', [[ShoutOut/{{Pinball}} Jim Schelberg's black Cobra Mustang convertible]] has PINGAME license plates.

[[folder:Puppet Shows]]
* Roland Rat's Ratmobile, first introduced in 1983's ''Rat on the Road'' had the licence number RAT 1.

* The car in ''Theatre/{{Cats}}'' reads [[Creator/TSEliot TSE]] 1.

* {{Transformers}} often have [[RuleOfFunny humourous]] or [[MeaningfulName meaningful]] license plates. For example, the ''Universe'' toyline's version of [[Anime/TransformersArmada Hotshot]] has the license plate ''[[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/JaAm JaAm]]''.
** ''Universe'' Sunstreaker's plate reads "WE R 84" while Sideswipe in the same line reads "SWIPE".

[[folder: Video Games]]
* The ''VideoGame/NeedForSpeed'' series has different plates for each game, including the likes of UNDRGRND. Allegedly, these were originally planned to be customisable for online play, but the consequences of that would have been [[ClusterFBomb fairly predictable]].
** [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] with a hint of ContinuityNod in ''Pro Street''. One of the menu commentary pieces is a call for the owner of a blue Subaru WRX with the plate "NFSCARBN" to move it.
** Some earlier ''VideoGame/NeedForSpeed'' parts did allow for custom plates. They read the driver's name.
** ''Most Wanted 2012'' is the first game to bring truly customizable license plates to the series.
* [[TheMafiya Vladimir Lem's]] license plate in ''VideoGame/MaxPayne'' reads "[[VodkaDrunkenski VODKA]]".
* When a player mounts the Hellbender Jeep in ''VideoGame/UnrealTournament2004'' its license plate changes to the driver's name, dropping vowels to fit if needed.
* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoViceCity'' is the first ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'' game to feature vanity plates by featuring "LUVFIST" plates on hair band [[FakeBand Love Fist's]] custom limousine. ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoSanAndreas'' upped the ante by including a far larger number of vanity plates on specifically parked or mission-specific cars.
** Presumably the result of a failure to implement randomized license plate numbers in the final game, every road vehicle in ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIV'' features license plates that read "LIBERTY CITY".
** Vehicle Cargo missions in ''[[VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoV Grand Theft Auto: Online]]'' are all about stealing [[RiceBurner gaudily modified]] sports cars, all of which have licence plates like [=PR3C10US=], [=2FA5T4U=], [=B1GM0N3Y=], [[MidlifeCrisisCar M1DL1F3]] and [[Creator/CharlieSheen W1NN1NG]], [[http://gta.wikia.com/wiki/Vehicle_Cargo#Target_Vehicles among many other "tasteful" examples]].
* In ''VideoGame/DeadlyPremonition'', every named character with a car has a vanity plate. Even the otherwise generic patrol cars you drive around town have vanity plates.
* In ''VideoGame/MafiaII'', you can change the plates on the car you're currently driving as one way to get the police off your trail. Empire Bay [[VulgarHumor doesn't seem to have restrictions on plates]].
* In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', the Mekgineer's Chopper / Mechano-Hog (different factions' versions of the same motorcyle) has a plate on the back reading PWN.
* In ''VideoGame/TheGodfather 2'', the cars waiting for your use at your safehouses or compounds usually have "GDF-250" or some variant thereof.
* Dr. Cortex's mooks in the motorcycle levels of ''VideoGame/CrashBandicoot3Warped'' drive cars with license plates that read CRTX.
* ''VideoGame/WatchDogs'': Aiden Pearce occasionally drives a silver car with the license plate "[=N3X=] U5 ", which a reference to the game's working title "Nexus". Additionally, [[TheCracker JB "Defalt" Markowicz]] and [[TheDon Dermot "Lucky" Quinn]] use "[=D3F=] 4L7" and "LUC KYQ" as their plate numbers, respectively.
* ''VideoGame/{{Bayonetta}}'':
** Enzo's plate reads "ED N EDNA", the names of his children.
** Jeanne's motorcycle plate reads "U1 QTJ" (Umbra #1 Cutie J).
* The red car in ''VideoGame/DeathRally'''s intro and title screen has the custom plate [=2BAD=]
* The 2012 reboot of ''VideoGame/RiseOfTheTriad'' has a few army-style trucks with the plates "R077 [=F7W=]".
* Roadhog from ''VideoGame/OverWatch'' wears a Greater Australia license plate on his belt that says "[=ROADR8GE=]". His "Rudolph" skin turns it to "HOHOHOG".


* This ''Webcomic/{{xkcd}}'' strip: http://xkcd.com/81/
** and this one: http://xkcd.com/1105/
* In ''Webcomic/ChoppingBlock'', Butch has "[[http://www.choppingblock.org/d/20010827.html TRMN8R]]", fitting for a serial killer.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Misfile}}'', Tom has one that says TOMSTER. Not surprising, given the comic's heavy emphasis on racing and Tom's cocky rich kid role.
* The license plate on Kamina's [[CoolCar Gurrenrod]] in the ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' fancomic ''Webcomic/DoubleK'' reads "KICK RSN", as in "kick reason to the curb and do the impossible", one translation of Kamina's [[FountainOfMemes several catchphrases]].
* The [[http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autotwb1560.html Sept 12, 2012 strip]] for ''Webcomic/TheWhiteboard'' shows the vanity plate of "FXYLDY" on the car of Sandy, a FunnyAnimal female red fox.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'', Blue's plate reads "BADASS".
* In ''Webcomic/{{Consolers}}'', Namco's plate reads "76-50". [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GoroawaseNumber 765 can be read as "na-mu-ko"]] and the number is used in many Namco games.
* In ''Webcomic/MenageA3'', the plates on Zii's van read "[[http://www.ma3comic.com/strips-ma3/to_borneo ZII]]".
* In ''Webcomic/TheBedfellows'', the license plate on Sheen's car reads "NOT GAY".
* The monster hunters in ''Webcomic/HereThereBeMonsters'' have a van with a plate reading HUN-TR.

%%[[folder: Web Original]]
[[folder: Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries''
** TheStinger of one episode showed Penguin making license plates in prison, after his attempt to extort the identity of Batman from the Batmobile's mechanic/co-creator. He lost it when he saw one of the plates read 1 BAT 4 U.
** Poison Ivy has a car with the plate [[Film/CitizenKane ROSEBUD]] and one with BADSEED.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** The Comic Book Guy has the registration number [[Franchise/StarTrek NCC 1701]].
** As does Kaito Nakamura of ''Series/{{Heroes}}'', played by Creator/GeorgeTakei.
** Marge tries to get one with her name on it in "Homer's Enemy", but "Marge", "Marjorie", and "Mitzi" were all taken. But she ''could'' have "Nitzi".
** In "Itchy and Scratchy Land", Bart tries to find one with his name but the only ones availiable are "Barclay", "Barry", "Bert" and "''Bort''". Bart expresses incredulity at the latter only for there to be ''two'' people named "Bort" at the store. [[BrickJoke And later on]] a supervisor offhandly mentions that the "Bort" license plates ''sold out''. (TruthInTelevision now at The "Simpsons Land" at Universal Studios Florida. If you go to the Gift shop, built into a Kwik-E-Mart, you can find a large stand of novelty mini plates, and yes, the peg for "Bort" is ALWAYS sold out.)
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Duckman}}'''s license plate reads "PSSDOFF"
* In the Flash show ''WebAnimation/GothamGirls'', Ivy's plate is ''BADSEED''.
* In the early-1990s ''WesternAnimation/XMen'' cartoon, Professor Xavier's car had the license plate "Film/{{THX 1138}}".
* ''WesternAnimation/PostmanPat'': The number plates on Pat's postal van read "Pat 1" and the number plates on his seldom used "post bus" read "Pat 2". This is actually even more vain than usual when you consider that his full name is Pat Clifton, meaning that he's used his FIRST name for the plates...
** [[FridgeLogic And when you consider]] that they aren't ''his'' vehicles; they belong to the Royal Mail...
* Brian in ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' has BRI-DOG.
** Similarly, AlphaBitch Connie D'Amico has a plate reading "C DAMICO."
* ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'': [=SpongeBob's=] boatmobile from "No Free Rides" has one saying IMR-D, mimicking his often-uttered catchphrase, "I'm ready!"
** Another episode has the villains driving in a vehicle with a plate that reads "MEAN 2 U"
* ''WesternAnimation/DanVs'': [[ExtremeDoormat Chris]]' car has the license plate "PUSHOVER". In another episode, a dentist's car has the license plate "INCISOR 1".
* [[TheBully Boog]] from ''WesternAnimation/FanboyAndChumChum'' has a licence plate that reads "BORN 2 BOP".
* Miss Finster from ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}'' has "DA FINSTER".
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Dilbert}}'', Dilbert's license plate reads "[[ThemeMobile DILCAR]]."
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/ALFTales'' has Series/{{Alf}} has a detective searching for the name of a suspect who helped a woman spin straw into gold. Upon seeing the guy's license plate, he declares that "his vanity will be his undoing." What does the plate read? [=RUMPLESTILSKIN=].
* ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'':
** Grunkle Stan drives a car with "STNLYMBL" as the license plate. It's short for Stanley Mobile. [[spoiler: This provides foreshadowing that Stan's real full name is Stanley, not Stanford.]]
** Soos's car has a license plate reading "[=FIXINIT1=]", a call back to the "Fixin' it With Soos" shorts.
* Lady Penelope's Rolls Royce in ''Series/{{Thunderbirds}}'' had the plate 'FAB 1', "F.A.B" being a seemingly-meaningless CatchPhrase of the titular organisation.
* In the ''[[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes Merrie Melodies]]'' short "Little Red Walking Hood," the Wolf attempts to flirt with Red by turning his license plate--which reads 07734--over, where it now reads "HELLO."
* In ''WesternAnimation/LittlestPetShop2012'', Fisher Biskit's limo's plate reads "LARGEST EV*R".
* A flashback in ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'' shows Boomhauer's 1965 Mustang (before Dale drove it into a flooded quarry) had the license plate "MSSALLY", after the Music/WilsonPickett son.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Archer}}'': In season four, Archer buys a new Chevy El Camino with the plates "SPY GUY", being an OvertOperative. Occasionally "ISIS", the name of Archer's agency (until season six), appears on vehicle plates, such as the limo at Mallory's wedding in season four.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Kaeloo}}'': Any car the main four have will have the letters PTM on its license plate. PTM stands for "Pays Trop Mignon", the name of the place the characters live in the French dub.
* ''WesternAnimation/BeCoolScoobyDoo'': In "Ghost in the Mystery Machine", the heroes need a new vehicle and Daphne gives them one with a license plate that reads "[=EATMYDST=]".

[[folder: Real Life ]]
* Tim Conway has/had the plate 13WEEKS, referring to the typical number of episodes of one of his failed sitcom attempts.
* While filming the show, William Conrad had CANNON.
* In the Philippines, license plates have three letters and three digits. The president's car has the digits "1000".
* The governor of Texas has a limousine with the license plate "1".
** On a related note, so does the Governor of California... which makes it doubly funny when[[note]] Circa 1990[[/note]] he received a ticket for speeding.
** The license number "1" is one of the perks of the Mayor of the District of Columbia, who can either assign it to themselves or assign it to a friend. This particular plate number is exempt from all parking restrictions. Sharon Pratt Kelly (later Sharon Pratt Dixon when she got married) was the only mayor who didn't have '1' on her official city vehicle, she assigned the number to her father. Her official limousine, however, had the license tag "ONE".
** Elected officials in several states are given special plates for the duration of their time in office. Members of the legislature may be issued a plate for their primary vehicle corresponding to their district number (American constituencies are numbered rather than named).
* A Polish poet living in the United States attempted to invent the shortest poem able to fit on a Vanity License Plate. He came up with "THERE IS".
* A man, who was asked to give his three choices for a vanity plate, wrote in BOATING, SAILING and NO PLATE (meaning if they were both taken, he'd just take a normal plate like everyone else). A couple weeks later he received a plate reading, you guessed it, NO PLATE. He was amused and decided to keep it. [[http://www.snopes.com/autos/law/noplate.asp Then the traffic tickets started arriving, from police who had reported cars with no plate.]]
** Washington DC channel 4 reported about the guy who gets thousands of dollars worth of fines a month and has to go to court every few months because his District of Columbia plate reads "NO TAGS", which is what is written on parking tickets of vehicles without license plates. After the TV station spoke to the city's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), they referred the station to the District Department of Transportation, who referred them to the District Department of Public Works, who referred them back to the DMV. After the station ran the news report, the head of the DMV issued an order saying to stop writing "NO TAGS" on tickets for vehicles without license plates.
** A guy in California used this to try and ''get out'' of tickets by ordering the tag "NONE" so that he wouldn't have to pay his own tickets. Apparently while [[DidntThinkThisThrough he did get lots and lots of tickets for other people without tags]] he had trouble getting out of the ones legitimately written on his own vehicle.
* Germany has very strict rules on license plates, so usually this doesn't work. However, similar to the Philippines example above, high-ranking officials go for recognizable numbers instead. Also, high-ranking government officials have ''0'' instead of the usual letter combination at the start of the plate. Both tactics combined yield the license plate for the President's car: "0-1".
** Oh, it works, it works quite well actually, as the option to freely choose the letter combination after the local identification allows a lot of puns which are unfortunately, as they are not funny, used quite often.
** Because they are running out of combinations, you can now choose your complete combination. some people have their name and phone number -area code on their licence plate. (Germany has long, complicated area codes.)
*** To choose your own letters after the local identification is now charged with a fee. The change was accompanied by some general grumbling.
*** German law still requires a combination of one or two letters followed by at least one but no more than four digits, not starting with a zero. Therefore it's not possible to put the area code on a license plate because those always start with zero.
** The letter or letters before the (now discontinued) dash depend on where the car is registered, so this part of the license cannot be chosen. And it has become impossible to get a license with the letter X after the dash in Segeberg (SE).
*** Or EX for people living in Stuttgart (giving S-EX ''nnnn'').
** The second set of letters is limited, too. Potential allusions to [[ThoseWackyNazis the Nazis]] (SS, SA, NS, etc.) are banned. And before a couple of years ago, the letters I, O, and Q were left out because they could be confused with digits.
** As mentioned before, the first part of the identifier designates the ''Kreis'' (county) where the car is registered. Since 2012 counties are allowed to let applicants choose reintroduced designators of former counties that have been abolished and annexed by the county where they want to register their vehicle.
* The official limousine used by the President of the United States has in the past used the license plate "USA-1". Now it's routinely issued a District of Columbia tag instead of a US Government tag--which leads to some interesting drama every time there's a new president (as D.C. plates since 2000 by default have the rather provocative slogan "Taxation Without Representation", referring to how DC residents pay federal income tax but do not have representation in Congress; you can pay to get the plates without the slogan, but since the plates were implemented, only UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush has done so for the official limo).
* In Singapore, the president's car has the licence plate S1.
* Semi-Subverted in UsefulNotes/{{Malaysia}}, where the government has actively refused the issuance of vanity plates ''unless it's named for a government-sanctioned project'' (ie so far we've had BAMBEE, PROTON, PERODUA, XIII OIC, [=IM4U=], and PUTRAJAYA and several more). However, a practice known as "number booking" is allowed, allowing a car buyer to reserve a number of his or her choice. This is done to placate the Chinese, who do not usually want the [[FourIsDeath numbers 4]] or [[ThirteenIsUnlucky 13]] anywhere in the license plate. Many buyers uses this chance to create part of words in "LeetSpeak", which when combined with the sequential letters, can form some pretty outstanding words.
* The official vehicles of the [[UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfWindsor reigning monarch]] of the UK have ''no'' licence plates.
** The same is true of fire engines in the District of Columbia. It's said sardonically that if fire engines in DC had tags on them, the (extremely efficient) ticket writers would ticket them for being parked in front of a fire hydrant.
* A woman in Denver wanted to express her love of tofu on her license plate, but because "ILVTOFU" looks more like "I love to fuck you", the DMV's [[http://www.local12.com/news/national/story/Womans-tofu-license-plate-curdles-in-Colorado/GvnKuPfzqkWQMQS67PjS5g.cspx not allowing it]].
* The Virginia DMV issued, then recalled, a license plate reading "GOVT SUX". The applicant sued and won on the grounds that the plate number was constitutionally protected political speech.[[note]]This is opposed to special plate designs, which, under ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walker_v._Texas_Division,_Sons_of_Confederate_Veterans Walker v. Sons of Confederate Veterans]]'', 576 U.S. ___ (2015), constitute government speech, and so the state can provide or not provide the design more or less as it pleases.[[/note]]
* On a Toyota [=MR2=] sports car: "[=RUMRS2=]?"
* On a tiny green sports car: Ribbit
* Difficult in Ireland, as all plates are [last two digits of year]-[one or two letters for county]-[sequence number], e.g. 03-CE-6755 would be the 6,755th car sold in County Clare in 2003. The Lord Mayor of Dublin traditionally gets 09-D-1, 10-D-1 etc. and a wealthy Offaly couple bought 07-OY-1 and 07-OY-2, etc. for several years. This system also means that the age of someone's car can be known instantly, leading to a glut of purchases every January and a corresponding falloff in November and December.
* The now defunct car styling and tuning dealer D&W in Bochum always mounted the same license plates on their "model" cars: "BO-DW 1". The same license appeared on the red Mercedes 190 E 2.3-16 in ''Manta Manta''.
* British magician and Game Show host Paul Daniels had the number plate "[=MAG1C=]". This was noted on an episode of ''Series/HaveIGotNewsForYou''.
** Similarly Jimmy Tarbuck (stand up comic and game show host) has "[=COM1C=]"
* Although the "obscenely rich character" example at the top of the page would be accurate if said character did have more than one vehicle; in Illinois, personalized plates that contain at least one number are significantly cheaper than vanity plates, which do not contain numbers at all. In fact, unless it has been changed recently, personalized plates cost the same as regular plates - with vanity plates costing extra.
* Rotten.com has license plates with 1337 and [=H4X0R=].
* "[=ME N MY=]" on a Dodge Shadow.
* On a white Infiniti [=SUV=]: "[[WesternAnimation/ToyStory NBEYOND]]"
* A few years ago, a woman who wanted her license plate to say "[[http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8734642/ GAYSROK]]" (as in "gays are ok" or "gays rock") had to wait while the state of Utah tried to decide whether or not it was offensive. They eventually decided it wasn't.
* Spotted about ten years ago: [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin LSNZPL8]] - License Plate
* The Mercedes-Benz tuner Brabus seems to have certain licenses reserved for their show cars. For example, every generation of the E V12 (an E-class with a tuned-up V12 from the S-class shoehorned under the hood) since 1996 had BOT-EV 12.
* The Governor of Queensland (and also New South Wales), has no numbers or letters on their official licence plates, but only has [[http://www.plateshed.com/forum/uploads/post-40-1113404414.jpg a crown]]. Seriously.
** The Queen gets a similar plate on her vehicle in Canada when she's visiting, though in gold on a red background.
* The best place in Germany to register a [[Series/KnightRider K.I.T.T.]] clone is Kiel where you can get KI-TT ***. This has been done at least once so far.
** Generally license plates of the form XY-TT 123 are found on Audi TT cars.
* Until 1990s, buses in the German city of Essen in Ruhr area had E-AT *** plates. It was an inside joke, for in German "essen" means "to eat".
* Possibly the most famous plate on the internet: [[http://www.snopes.com/photos/risque/license.asp Florida A55 RGY]], with the orange design filling in a critical letter.
** Note that this one was '''not''' a vanity plate. Florida issues plates in order, and that just happened to be the random one he got. The generic Florida plate design has been changed since to include two smaller oranges and a flower.
* Romanian license plates' shape is legally-mandated to be either xx-12-yyy or xx-123-yyy, where the first two digits are the county code (Bucharest having a single digit - B) and the numbers and letters can be either freely chosen for a small fee or given in sequence by a computer. This meant a lot of people started to speak [[LeetLingo Leet]] overnight, to translate their names and other distinguished wording and fit the limited format - up to a rap singer having the plate "B 505UGI" ("s-o sugi" meaning "you suck it").
* Similarly, Brazilian license plates have a fixed format (three letters, four digits), and you can order a specific combination. (Cue every BMW apparently having a "BMW-XXXX" license plate.) It's free, subject to availability, but each state is assigned a range of letter combinations that your choice must fall within. (So we were talking about [=BMWs=] from the state of São Paulo.) Many cars owned by all three branches of government have completely different plates that do now follow a standard. A common one is black, with a city's blazon and the number "1", meaning it's meant for the mayor's use.
* Years ago the Washington, DC DMV issued a plate reading "[[ForeignCussWord MERDE]]," without realizing what it meant. (It's French for "shit".)
* Seen years ago in Michigan on a Dodge Ram 4X4 with huge mudder tires: 3M [=TA3=]. It was a little disconcerting to look in the rear view mirror at a stoplight and seeing this huge truck behind you with the words "EAT ME" on the plate.
** A guy had the same number in California back in the late 1970s or early 1980s.
* Seen on a Mini Cooper: [[Series/DoctorWho TARD1S]].
* In Lebanon, president has 1, prime minister has 2, etc. So low numbers are for high-ranking officials, and people who wish to appear important, cash out for plates with low numbers. Forgot the actual numbers, but here's the rule of thumb: numbers lower than 200(+/- 20) are reserved for state officials, and 200+ are on sale. One plate with a low number around 200 can cost the owner many times more than the car, it goes up to 17.000 for numbers 200-300.
* In a similar trend, most places in the U.S. now offer a variety of license plate ''designs'' for a nominal fee. The state of Arizona, for example, has special plates for police, firefighters, or former Prisoners of War to use on their personal vehicles. Charity designs are available to the public, with most or all of the fee benefitting a related cause, such as animal shelters, child abuse prevention, cancer research, or universities. While the former group is generally well accepted, the latter group is seen as almost as dickish, and just as smug, as regular vanity plates.
** In one state, the child abuse prevention plate has the words "Kids First" at the bottom. Someone used this design for their vanity plate: "EAT THE".
* Delaware license plates started low and counted incrementally. As in many places, plates 1-3 are reserved for the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Secretary of State. Unusually, though, other low-numbered plates can be transferred to other drivers, leading to a secondary market in low-digit plates. Though they are completely unpersonalized they are ridiculously valuable - plate #6 was auctioned off for $675,000. (Bear in mind that Delaware plates tend to have unusually low numbers in general, given that Delaware is the fifth-smallest state in the Union by population; other than vanity plates and a few special-class plates with letters used as distinguishing prefixes, e.g. S for state-owned vehicles, all Delaware license plates are just numbers with no letters, with a maximum of six digits.)
* Vanity license plates are ubiquitous in the Virginia, due to the aforementioned low price. You can barely drive a mile to the nearest grocery store and back anywhere in the commonwealth without seeing several.
** Virginia is also notorious for the sheer variety of speciality plates available, including [[http://www.dmv.virginia.gov/exec/vehicle/splates/category.asp?category=S Fox Hunting, Bowling, Class J No. 611 Steam Locomotive, Credit Unions, etc.]] The only requirement to get a specialty plate class made is to get at least 300 vehicle owners to sign up for the plate, once they get that many paid in requests they'll issue the new class of plate.
* It's been said that one way to tell if someone's a geek is to show them a Volkswagen Beetle with a vanity plate that says FEATURE and see if they laugh. [[note]]This is a computer programming joke -- "It's not a bug, it's a feature!"[[/note]]
* For the UK launch of the Porsche 928S, the company obtained the vanity plate "[=THE 928S=]", UK registration plates following at that time the ABC 123A format.
* When cars are being roadtested in the UK, manufacturers tend to put a fake vanity plate on their press cars, as often shown on Top Gear. For example, all of Aston Martin's press cars bear the plate V12 AML (The 'L' referencing Lagonda, one of Aston Martin's marque's purchased in the late 1940's). Porsche 911's tend to have 911 GB.
* Sighted recently in Portland OR: a fluorescent green compact, license plate "KERMIT".
* Ask any of the 600,000 citizens of the german city Dortmund and chances are they have at least once seen a car with a license plate that read either "DOOM", "DOPE" or "DOOF" (dumb/stupid).
* Music/DeanMartin's said "DRUNKY."
* With the increasing availability of electric and hybrid cars comes an upswing in vanity plates reading LOL GAS or similar.
** A Prius in NY had one reading: [="LE55 GA5"=].
*** On the flip side of this, a Hummer, also in NY: EIGHTMPG.
* When California first implemented 7 character personalized plates in the early 1980s, they had to hold a lottery as more than 300 people applied for the first 7-character plate to be issued: PORSCHE.
* There is a car in Virginia with the license plate "OKCAHA." It is a BilingualBonus as in the Cyrillic alphabet "OKCAHA" reads as "Oksana," a Russian woman's name.
* Amateur (ham) radio plates - amateur callsigns themselves can be vanity, occasionally leading to ''[[RecursiveReality vanity]]'' vanity license plates.
** Some jurisdictions even offer callsign plates at no additional charge over normal/randomly generated plates.
* The Governor-General of Canada can use plates depicting the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Flag_of_the_Governor-General_of_Canada.svg Governor-General's flag]].
* Matt Farrah of Drive.com once had a [[CoolCar Shelby Cobra kit car]] with a vanity plate that read "[[BrownNote Make U Poo]]" (with "POO" spelled "P00"). When asked how he was able to get away with it when he registered it, he said it was "officially" "[[TheProblemWithPenIsland MAKE UP 00]]." You can see the clip (and the reason for the vanity plates) [[http://youtu.be/f--jqaYU-mg here]].
* It's OlderThanTheyThink! During the UsefulNotes/RedOctober era, Makhnovist anarchists often put "license plates" with {{Badass Creed}}s on their ''tachankas'' (horse-driven gun trucks). The variation most well known in folklore is "No Fuckin Way You'll Escape" on the front and "No Fuckin Way You'll Catch Me" on the rear.
* In modern Russia, you cannot have true vanity plates with anything on them, but there are two other options. First, you can arrange with the motor registration office to have license plates which conform to the standard format (letter-three digits-two letters-region code) but nevertheless combine the letters and numbers into something funny or badass. Second, you can buy "fake license plates" which are worn in addition to the standard ones.
* On an Acura Legend: "[[Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda OF ZELDA]]"
* On a Cadillac with North Carolina plates, [[Series/DoctorWho D0CWH0]]; and a Civic, [[Film/ThePrincessBride ASUWISH]], [[http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/29890_10150171638520504_4974360_n.jpg here.]]
* At least one driver has a license plate called [[Theatre/TheBookOfMormon HSADIGA]], which means [[ForeignCussWord "Fuck you"]]. Presumably, the corresponding plate reads [=EEB0Y=].
* [[http://imgur.com/gallery/GdH7DYn Nevada]] [[HarryPotter Kedavra!]] Driven by He Who Must Not Be Ticketed.
* Late 20th century British politician Sir Gerald Nabarro was famous for two things: his luxuriant moustache, and his eight cars with number plates running NAB 1 through 8. Unfortunately his career was marred by scandal involving a traffic violation in one of the cars, but that's another story.
* Bandleader Lawrence Welk reportedly had "A1ANA2."
* Wrestling/GorillaMonsoon eventually got a plate that read "[[{{Kayfabe}} KAYFABE]]".
* [[http://bootymax.tumblr.com/post/140625489712/look-what-i-found-aaa This car]] has [[Disney/BigHero6 "BALALALA".]]
* James May has a plane, which has the [[LiveActionTV/TopGear "G-OCOK"]] registration.
* UsefulNotes/NewJersey, besides the usual sort of "You pay us money, you can make your plate say funny things" also has a somewhat elaborate system of official plates:
** Like many states, high-ranking state officials (like the governor) get plates with low numbers.
** N.J. also has special series of plates for things like legislators, judges, and the surrogate (a quasi-judicial official in charge of probate matters) in each county. The plate generally has a code that identifies the county and a fairly low number, and also generally has a full-color rendition of the state seal in the center. However, this style has fallen out of favor since the early 2000s as officeholders decided that the plates, while cool, made them and their vehicles targets for disgruntled constituents and litigants.
** N.J.'s most famous form of non-vanity plate special plates are the "courtesy" plates. Courtesy plates have to be personally approved by the applicant's state senator, so the plates are generally issued to senators' friends and allies. The plates are thus in themselves are a low-key boast that you're in with some powerful people. You can tell courtesy plates because the numbers always take the form ABC 12, where "ABC" starts with a particular letter assigned to the county (for instance, "A" is assigned to Atlantic County, while "K" stands for Middlesex);[[note]]Each county can be assigned one letter, as New Jersey has only 21 counties[[/note]] that said, there's a little room for customization, as the driver is allowed to request that his/her initials be used as the second two letters of the letter code.
* In 2007, a New York man [[http://nypost.com/2007/11/19/plate-debate/ received some media attention]] because the DMV had rejected his application for a plate that said [[UsefulNotes/OsamaBinLaden "GETOSAMA"]].
* British number plates followed a convention whereby the three-letter part could be identified to the issuing town. The initial letter was advanced one place down the alphabet with every new year, allowing for easy tracing of the car by town and age. One English town ran into trouble when it got as far as REX. Its registration leapt straight to TEX that August. Similarly, another town got as far as SIT and realised it was prudent to skip a letter and go to UIT.
* On a Tesla Model S - No Gas