Mainers Fight Back After State Recalls Vanity License Plate

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Maine motorists are fighting for their custom plates after a crackdown by the state on owners of plates that were deemed inappropriate.

The Pine Tree State has been allowing its residents to personalize their license plates for years. However, state officials have had to put some limits on the creativity and personality that were reflected in these creations.

According to a report, at least 274 plates were recalled in 2023 for being inappropriate. Some Mainers resist this, however.

A vegan living at the front line of the conflict is the one with the license plate “LUVTOFU”.

The report stated that state officials suggested that the plate could be interpreted as a reference for sexual acts and not as a protest against meat.

Peter Starostecki is the plate’s owner and he categorically denies it.

Starostecki stated, “It’s my protest about eating meat and other animal products.”

The report also noted that another pair of motorists expressed dismay at the state’s demand for them to give up their matching plates, which refers to a term used by a female dog.

Heather Libby stated that people are now so sensitive after her appeal was denied. It’s stupid, I think.

According to the report, in 2015 the state ended its “vanity” review process for license plates. Soon, motorists were sporting vulgar and profane plates on Maine’s roads.

The state legislature ordered the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, years later, to restore a vetting system that governed some 120,000 plates.

The report stated that derogatory comments about ethnicity, age and sexual orientation, as well as language that incites violence or is obscene, are prohibited.

Secretary of State Shenna bellows stated that it was in the public’s interest to keep profane and inciting violence off the roads.

There have been at least 13 appeals filed over plates that were deemed unsuitable, and there could be more.