california vanity plate
Mayukh Saha
Mayukh Saha
March 14, 2024 ·  4 min read

The Hidden Message On This California License Plate Has Gone Viral

License plates are a necessity if you own a vehicle. The lack of one usually results in legal trouble. Now, most of these plates are simply a random alphanumeric combination. However, there are always some individuals who pay a little more money to get vanity plates. These plates are more expensive and can have anything your heart desires. However, it has to stay within the limits of the characters, and obide by state guidelines. It should go without saying that the guidelines for vanity plates vary from state to state. However, some of the basics involve banning plates that are deemed offensive. Another rule that is usually in motion makes one incapable of purchasing the same numbers as someone else. 

Don’t be such a 3JOH22A

With such a legal guideline, one can almost expect certain individuals to bend the rules a little to get the vanity license plate they truly want. For example, a vanity plate began going viral in 2016. People found it to be a stroke of genius and still do. This license plate from California doesn’t even look that fancy at a glance. The assortment of numbers and letters seems pretty random. The plate, for those who are interested, read, “3JOH22A”. Now, this plate is definitely custom-built, and it did seem that the owner was quite smart to make it this way so as to not get rejected by the DMV. This plate looks completely different when seen from a mirror- for it reads, “A**HOLE”

Vanity Plate Admiration

You could argue that vanity plates aren’t the best use of money, but one can’t deny that this plarte was pretty ingenious. Users even expressed their admiration for the profane plates with one describing what it would be like if a police officer had to call it in, “Radio, I’ve got a Toyota Tacoma, license plates say ‘a**hole’ backward in the mirror, can you run that for me? Over.” But as it turns out, there have been other individuals as well- whose number plates could give this plate a run for its money. 

Some hilarious rejected plates (and some even accepted)

Recently, a Twitter bot made the rounds after it started posting random rejected applications for fancy license plates from 2015-2016. Now, while it is pretty funny to see the reasons behind asking for the applications, the situation becomes downright hilarious when we check the reason behind rejecting it- as supplied by the DMV. For example, a man from California had his application for a plate named ‘2 DEEZ’ rejected because the DMV thought it could be “AS IN THE NUTS.” 

There have also been cases where people brought in applications for reverse-engineered acronym license plates. One individual bought in a request for an “Information Technologist for the Sacramento Chapter of the California Automatic Collectors Association”- which would be “ITSCACA” for short. Now, this was simply juvenile humor, and not really funny. What made it funny was the response of the DMV who responded to it with “ITS CACA… POOP.”

Another individual came in with a request- “My new car is a LEXUS RC F and I am soooo happy!” The DMV thought it spelled- “F**K YOU”, and denied the application.

One request for a vanity license plate that actually got accepted was where the customer mentioned, “I have a new motor with a blower on it.” The DMV responded with, “Blown, can have a sexual connotation. Does have a 54 FORD.” The verdict was then passed in favor of the customer.

Have you seen any clever vanity plates? Let us know in the comments, just be a 3JOH22A about it.

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  1. The Hidden Message On This California License Plate Has Gone Viral.” Tip Hero
  2. This Twitter Account Posting Rejected Vanity Plate Applications Is the Distraction You Need Today.” The Drive. Nico Demattia. November 8, 2022.