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
These California plates once belonged to my mother, whose initials are KG. (“KG is before you”).
These Montana plates were both found in junkyards. “HAKAS” came from a car that had multiple snowboarding bumper and window stickers on it.
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.
The Nebraska and Missouri plates below kept it simple.
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.
II. Occupations & Hobbies
Hook ’em Trail gal
Cowgirl Love to cheer
Prenatal (likely a nurse) Mr. Guin (a vet; note the added paw print decal)
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 (?)
III. Say It Simple
Mom’s wagon You can do it
Buffalo Bill Too unique
Foxy lass Black Widow (refers to a type of Chevrolet truck)
Double Play Sagebrush
Hoop dream Motel
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.” “LAXMIJI” refers to an Indian goddess.
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.
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.”
These ones are anyone’s guess.
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.
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.
Plates on this page which are a unique design for vanities, instead of whatever the current passenger was at the time.
-South Carolina (all)