Vanities

Vanity plates, also called personalized plates, give motorists the chance to spread a message–it can be about something or someone they love, their occupation, or a reference to their car, among other reasons.

I. Names & Initials

This California plate once belonged to my mother, whose initials are KG. (“KG is before you”).

CA KGS B4U

These Montana plates were both found in junkyards. “HAKAS” came from a car that had multiple snowboarding bumper and window stickers on it.

MT BB&COMT HAKAS (1 of 2)

The South Carolina plate likely belonged to a married couple (hence the “S” at the end of each set)…this type of vanity is common in all states.

SC-WES HMS

The Nebraska and Missouri plates below kept it simple.

NE-BWSMO-JW3

Not sure why there’s three G’s in this plate…The Illinois vanity on the right is really “NINA 2” once you account that the “E” is the standard prefix for this environmental specialty.

IN GGGUSIL-E NINA 2

 

II. Occupations & Hobbies

Hook ’em                                                         Trail gal

MT-HOOK UMMMT-TRLGAL

Cowgirl                                                           Love to cheer

ID-KWGRLKS LV2CHR

Prenatal (likely a nurse)                             Mr. Guin (a vet; note the added paw print decal)

UT PRN8LVA-MR GUIN

A few states, like North Carolina, allow residents to have eight characters on vanity plates instead of the standard maximum of seven found on passenger plates.

I work too hard                                             Ultimate fanatic (?)

NC-IWRK2HRDSC-ULTFNTC

To decorate

WA-2DECOR8

 

III. Say It Simple

Mom’s wagon                                                 You can do it

KS MOMSWGNKS UCNDOIT

Buffalo Bill                                                       Too unique

KS BUFLO BKS 2UNIQUE

Foxy lass                                                         Black Widow (refers to a type of Chevrolet truck)

MT-FXYLASSMT-BLK WIDW

Double Play                                                    Sagebrush

NE-DBLPLAYNE-SGBRUSH

Hoop dream                                                   Motel

NV HOOPDRMNH MOTEL

Affirm

WA-AFFIRMpair

 

IV. Miscellaneous

Of the seven California vanities below, it’s not entirely clear what they all mean. “Z VADER” could refer to a Darth Vader/Star Wars fan, “SBA2DAY” to the Small Business Administration, and “SWELL 70” to a retiree. “AHPAREE” belonged to my aunt, a regular visitor to Paris, as did the French-themed “MNNIMOI.”

CA-HYTRUSTCA-Z VADERCA 3PUT2XSCA SBA2DAYCA-SWELL 70 (P1)CA AHPAREECA MNNIMOI

The Rough Riders were a volunteer cavalry, led by Theodore Roosevelt, during the Spanish-American War; “BLUBARU” refers to a type of car; and “USWCV6” to a U.S. Navy vessel.

ND-RUFRYDRMS-BLUBARUSC USWCV6

The “PINK” on the Maine breast cancer awareness plate is an obvious link but we can only guess what “86” is for. I would never have figured out what this Missouri vanity means if the seller didn’t tell me: “sun cruiser”; it belonged to someone with a convertible. For the New York plate, I’m going with “GRAY LADY.”

ME PINK86MO-SNCRZRNY GRYLDY

These ones are anyone’s guess.

AK-EX 07IL BUNYMBLIL-ABAD914MD-HISAEOR-C LTMRI LC 66

The Alabama plate (I deviate) is probably a sample since the state issues plates in singles and thus would have a sticker if actually used on a car.

AL I DV8

This Montana pair is most unusual since there are two different bases. They were found on a junkyard car. Likely the owner received or ordered the newer design but kept one old out of personal preference.

MT KINE 220 (2000)MT KINE 220 (2006)

 

 

Plates on this page which are a unique design for vanities, instead of whatever the current passenger was at the time.

-Alaska

-Kansas (all)

-Missouri “JW3”

-South Carolina (all)

-Washington “AFFIRM”