There’s a story behind every personalized plate



A short time back I took some flak from readers who dislike the occasional column I write on personalized license plates I see on cars while driving.

One reader was unhappy with my use of the term “vanity plate” (hence they will be called personalized plates from now on), another felt I should be writing about important, informative subjects and it was even suggested by a reader I must have writer’s block when I have to resort to writing about license plates.

OK, well maybe it is a little writer’s block, but it’s also fun to write about plates and I don’t think my column necessarily has to be about important social topics or political issues. It just has to tell a story — whether serious or lighthearted.

I think there are stories behind every license plate I feature in my column. Most of these plates I have to guess what the story is, but that’s the fun of personalized plates. You have to get inside the head of the owner, even though you’ve never met them.

So here are a few to ponder over:

1BADMTN — I think this car is owned by someone who loves the game badminton. I actually wasn’t aware anyone played badminton anymore, but I can’t come up with a better explanation. ‘Bad Mountain’? Don’t think so.

UBUIBME — This person likes to be true to his or herself. They don’t want to change for others and they believe in the motto “to each his own.” BMERFUN — Seen on a BMW. I’m going to guess here this person loves having fun in his BMW, so much so he wants the whole world to know how he feels about his car.

MAIZE — I saw this in a yellow Ford Fiesta with a University of Michigan plate. The car was definitely maize color. In fact it was so “maize” I was nearly blinded looking at it longer than two seconds. Too bad they couldn’t have worked some blue in their somewhere.

PROPH 8 – Someone who fancies themselves a prophet, perhaps? So if they can see the future, are they able to predict when there will be a speed trap up ahead? And if so, I hope they can let the rest of us know somehow.

NOTNRML — This Maryland plate was sent to me by a co-worker. I almost see a theme developing with UBUIBME and NOTNRML. Individuality at its best, I say. More power to these drivers.

LST LAF — This souped-up older Mustang was seen on the road by my pal Dave. If this driver thinks he’s having the last laugh, I’m going to guess it’s because he has an awesome classic muscle car. That’s a good reason to laugh.

AGOLFMN — Dave saw this one at, where else, a golf course. I think this driver might find the badminton plate to be laughable. Maybe he will have the ‘last laugh.’

Gary Gould is the managing editor. Contact him at or call 810-452-2650.

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