Man Doesn’t Understand Why The DMV Doesn’t Like His “COPSLIE” License Plate

Each state’s Department of Motor Vehicles keeps a list of letter and number combinations drivers are prohibited from having, whether because they’re offensive or for various other reasons known only to those DMVs. But one New Hampshire man disagrees with what his state’s DMV deems as a “no-no,” and is taking his fight for the right to have “COPSLIE” on his license plate all the way to the state’s Supreme Court.

The man is representing himself in the free speech case, saying those lists of banned phrases or words is unconstitutional.

“The DMV has a regulation that prohibits vanity license plates which contain messages the DMV believes a reasonable person would find offensive,” the man tells NewsRadio 1030. “That regulation does not meet constitutional standards.”

The state Assistant Attorney General Richard Head says this is nothing new, and that the DMV has rejected plates before when they include vulgar or offensive sayings such as “Old Bag.”

But the constitution doesn’t say how one should determine which vanity plates would be offensive, claims the man, and that vagueness also gives the court’s chief justice pause over the regulation’s subjectivity.

For example, he points out a vanity plate that the DMV is okay with which reads “1god4us,” which potentially could offend an atheist or someone who doesn’t believe that. He’s asking how anyone can say what is “good taste” or offensive to that good taste.

The court has yet to rule on whether the man can keep his license plate, which frankly seems like a great way to make sure any cop who sees you is tempted to pull you over.

NH Man Fights State’s Denial Of ‘COPSLIE’ License Plate [CBS Boston]

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  1. ShadyTrust says:

    While I do agree the rules should be evaluated because they do seem to be inconsistent, he could always just put a big COPSLIE bumper sticker above his license plate. As far as I know, there aren’t limits on what stickers/magnets on the back of your car can say.

  2. CommonC3nts says:

    No one would find “COPSLIE” offensive.
    They are being unreasonble to prohibit that on a plate.
    Many states allow religious and political message plates, so there is nothing wrong with this.

  3. EducationalGeek says:

    This is ridiculous, the man should be able to keep the plate and the DMV take a hike. Just because Law Enforcement doesn’t like what it says, it’s hard to argue that it’s not the truth.

  4. NorthernPike says:

    I read a longer version of the story and the guy is claiming his free speech rights are being infringed. He’s getting carried away. They are only rejecting his license plate not forbidding him from plastering his car with bumper stickers or painting “Cops Lie” in giant letters on his car.