Reader Takes Comfort In Making The DMV Type The F-Word In A Legal Document

The DMV is making reader Paul surrender his license plates because they could stand for something untoward, but he takes solace in the fact that he made them type a nasty word in a legal document.

They won the battle but i won the war. I have to surrender my plates but at least i made them write the horrific word in an official legal document, and I made some legal secretary have to type it, which could be sexual harrassment for that person. And now, by showing that degrading and filthy term to all of you, i have poisoned your souls forever. Oopsie. Sorry about that whole damnation thing.

But the real joke is that OPEC FY means “Operation Eco-Friendly” (i own a Prius, see?). Isn’t that what you all thought?

Sure, Paul. Whatever you say!

(Photo:calvin’s dad)


Edit Your Comment

  1. ptkdude says:

    LOVE IT! Now if the average person only knew what my vanity plate means teehehe

  2. drkkgt says:

    Then again, the real meaning is pretty much the same thing as what they thought, just a bit more polite.

  3. balthisar says:

    Yeah, sure.

  4. Pylon83 says:

    Dumb. This is just dumb.

  5. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Most (if not all) states won’t let you have plates that have vulgar words, abbreviations, or anything that implies vulgarity or a sexual act, etc. It matters not what the original intent of the abbreviation was, only that it could be perceived as vulgar.

    I agree with the sentiment, but since license plates are official government instruments, I can see the conflict of interest and why his DMV is yanking the plates.

    On the other hand, if you want naughty words on your car, there’s no reason why you can’t have an FU-OPEC bumper sticker printed up.

  6. Joessandwich says:

    I actually say props to the DMV for being blunt and not trying to dance around it.

  7. Buran says:

    @dwayne_dibbly: Then why did they issue them in the first place? Obviously they were OK with them Did some prick with a stick up their ass start working there or something?

  8. spinachdip says:

    @dwayne_dibbly: If you do a search on The Smoking Gun, you’ll find a whole slew of complaints about vanity plates: []

  9. crnk says:

    I think the following topics aren’t fit for a consumer oriented website, since they are not actually consumer concerns: income taxes, DMV, CPSC-amusement ride inspectors, semi-common mechanical issues that delay flights, unaffordable health care, school lunches, and rumors/pure speculation, in addition to others. Yet, Consumerist has put up stories on all of these in the last few months. What gives?

  10. scampy says:

    I would send them back a letter telling them that that isnt what my plate meant and they just offended me as I do not like profanity.

  11. alhypo says:

    A secretary having to type the F-word is about as close to sexual harassment as a porn-star being F-ed on film. It’s just part of the job.

    Now, if the boss was hovering over her (or him), drooling and breathing heavily while demanding she type the F-word, that might be sexual harassment.

    Anyway, I don’t see the excitement. They put quotes around the expletives. I’ve quoted Hitler before. Does that make me a Nazi?

  12. MystiMel says:

    @scampy: That would be amusing.

  13. Jon Parker says:

    @crnk: I believe the answer to your question is that it’s not your site, and what you think is an appropriate topic doesn’t really matter to anyone but you.

  14. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    @Buran: This isn’t uncommon. Obviously, the state worker who sits all day and enters plate after plate into the state database didn’t catch it or didn’t care, nor did the rest of the bureaucracy. Can you blame them?

    My guess is that either somebody called the DMV to complain, or somebody reviewing the database caught it after the fact. It happens. You could probably paint the F-word in 10 foot high letter on your house and get away with it for awhile until somebody complained. Try it and let us all know how you make out :)

    Check out SPINACHDIP’s suggestion at []

    @spinachdip: Thanks for the tip. Highly amusing :)

    @Pylon83: You’re right, this was a stupid article.

  15. spinachdip says:

    @crnk: Let’s see:

    Income taxes – In a strict sense, we are consumers of the government’s services. But in a more practical sense, income taxes have implications for consumers, not just because what we pay in taxes directly affect our ability to consume, but also since there are consumer services associated with taxes.

    CPSC amusement ride inspectors – Seriously?

    Mechanical issues associated with delayed flights – Again, seriously? Knowing possible reasons for delays doesn’t help travelers who are – gasp! – consumers?

    Health care – seriously?

    School lunches – See income taxes. Also, there’s a (for wont of a better word) movement in this country away from junk food, and even if this isn’t a strictly consumerist issue, it’s part of the trend.

    Rumors/speculation – Um, what?

    You might have this site confused with Customerservicefromretailbusinessesist. Or perhaps you might want to start Pedantist?

  16. disavow says:

    @crnk: We’re still paying someone else for a service….It just happens to be with guns to our heads

  17. SaveMeJeebus says:

    @crnk: They are all topics of consumer interest. Go to another site if you don’t like the topics here.

  18. drjayphd says:

    Good news, though: you can still get an “OPECFY” team jersey. Alas and alack, they don’t have Houston Oilers replicas.

  19. catskyfire says:

    Paul, you did not win anything. Whomever typed it really didn’t care. At all. Seriously. It could be a male or a female, but I can promise that they send thousands of letters saying that this item or that item is rejected (or being recalled after being issued), and various words cease to have meaning.

    I work in Equal Opportunity. Having to type the work ‘fuck’ would not be in any way sexual harassment, unless only one certain person was required to type all potentially offensive word containing letters, and then only if it could be tied to sex, race, color, religion, etc.

    And your “Operation Eco-Friendly” is likely a lame excuse. If it had been OP ECO F or OP ECO FY maybe. But they probably had you pegged right.

  20. Buran says:

    @catskyfire: And I’m pegging you as a stereotyper and an assumer who has no actual knowledge of the situation in question.

  21. yg17 says:

    Another awesome plate: []

    One that I saw was on a Hummer. The license plate goes right above the big giant “HUMMER” logo on the back. The license plate said “GIVMEA”, so of course, put together, it said “Give Me A Hummer” which, I think may be more offensive to someone than OPECFY yet that will stay since the plate itself “GIVMEA” isn’t reall offensive.

    That said, I don’t think OPECFY, GOTMILF or GIVMEA are offensive, and should all be allowed :D

  22. crnk says:

    Income taxes–sure, they might have some relevance sometimes…but not a story about how the IRS wants you to report poker earnings
    The CSPC amusement ride story talked about accidents and how the CSPC staff isn’t arriving in time to see the accident scenes….that sounds like a govt safety inspector problem, not a consumer related one.
    Serious MX issues on airlines(engine gone bad) don’t really have much to do with consumers. The few people on the ONE WN flight posted recently were a limited group with an unusual event. IIRC, the last time this happened in the US was on CO about a year ago with a 772 to TLV, and didn’t even try to go airborne. The article has nothing to do with an airline’s safety record (something that is clearly of consumer interest) and made no indication that the pax were at all dissastified with how they were treated. Furthermore, the post concentrated on pax and how “the engine exploded” versus the FAA terminology. Mind you, the engine did not explode in any way, it just suffered an uncontanied engine failure.
    Health care does relate to consumers, but quite a few of the articles are on medicare and such. As you pay a non-negotiable amount towards medicare and recieve the benefits when eligible, i wouldn’t call it a consumer issue.
    School lunches–see my bit on taxes. Public services are not consumer based, i’ll cover this at the end.
    Rumors: yes, consumerist does post them. I just don’t think that any credible source would ever just report something as unverified. Consumerist does.
    At least the Target bit tagged as unverified claims it is “from an insider”–so the source traces to somewhere, theoretically. But the CompUSA has none of that.

    About government services, taxes, and consumer issues. Yes, income taxes and other taxes have implications for consumers. But, most of what the government provides is not in that realm. And, you can’t choose where or how your money is spent, so you aren’t a consumer in that sense. School lunches, health clinics, and education are all government services that we pay for in a mandatory form. And, usually government run services would fall well outside of the market. Case and point–today I paid $6 for an std test to check up and verify i’m clean. Planned Parenthood wanted $200 for it. Various places I saw priced online were $200-400 for home test kits. Another case–public schools are provided free of charge (and public higher education is affordable too), yet various private and parochial schools run $5-40k, depending on level of education and such. As those are market rate, they would be of consumer interest, where a subsidized state university at less than $6k a year isn’t in a consumer realm, due to its overly controlled price.

  23. hypnotik_jello says:

    People will always find something 2BFNDBT

  24. goller321 says:

    So EVERY license plate that has an F, A, C, B, D, T, P, S, W, and N should be banned. And any other letter that can be used to spell a “dirty” word.
    What a load of shit.

  25. Macroy says:

    So the DMV made him surrender his “OPECFY” plates, but they randomly assigned somebody else a plate that basically says “ass orgy”?


  26. mconfoy says:

    @goller321: You mean WALOS?

  27. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    @Macroy: If I were assigned that plate, I think I’d march right down to the DMV and turn those plates in myself! :D

  28. skeleem_skalarm says:

    The things people worry about! Geez, I was behind someone in Columbus, Ohio a few years ago whose plate read “F U”. Now, I know what it looks like, but the owner *could* have been a Franklin University grad. What surprises me is the OBMV let him/her have that plate, although it probably doesn’t exist any more because someone with nothing better to do complained.

  29. BrianH says:

    @catskyfire: They certainly had him pegged right. Maybe if I was 16 years old it would be entertaining. Also maybe my logic is skewed, but it seems that “they won the battle but I won the war” is a bit off. Let me see… *he* had to surrender his plates, get new ones, etc… and *he* won the war? *Maybe* he won *a* battle (having someone type f*** is winning a battle? If that’s his idea of a battle I’d hate to be the person scraping him off the floor after a business negotiation).

  30. BrianH says:

    By the way, and this is a true story… many years ago when I lived in Illinois, there was a very hot woman who lived in my neighborhood.. She has a modest car (Pontiac Sunfire… Chevy Cavalier … something like that) but her license plate was certainly far from modest… something like ILIK69 although maybe the spacing was IL IK 69 or something…. could be she was born in ’69 (that would have been about right) and we were in IL after all.

    Oh the good old days!

  31. veronykah says:

    My favorite plate, not sure how it got by the DMv…

    POOH C

  32. Hawkins says:

    Well, I think it’s very funny indeed to see a an extremely serious lawyer letter, the kind with line numbers and scary words like “respondent,” reduced to using potty words.

    The only way it could have been funnier would have been if the license plate had somehow implied the words “soiled undies.”

  33. witeowl says:

    @crnk You took the time to list quite a few recent topics you object to, yet the autographed porn star implant story is apparently an A-OK consumerist topic to you? Innneresting…

  34. guroth says:

    In California the number “69” appearing on a license plate is reserved for vehicles made in that year only.

  35. zanhecht says:

    Someone near my high school (in North Hollywood, CA) had a plate that said V4GINA for years and years and no one complained.

  36. CuriousO says:

    This is the Greatest thing I’ve seen all day!!!!! FY OPEC FY OPEC!!!!!!

  37. rabiddachshund says:

    Honestly I don’t see the point in vanity license plates anyway. All they do is make you look like a douchebag that gets their rocks off by making other people aware of their interests. Same goes for bumper stickers.

  38. goodkitty says:

    If swear words were allowed on license plates it would only make the world a far better place, seriously. Then all the bored cops doing video surveillance can play ‘car scrabble’ and try to make out sentences of passing automobile license plates… like ‘OPECFY’ and ‘PWNDLOL’.

  39. stinerman says:

    I got ones from the Ohio BMV that was as follows:


    I could only stand having it on my car for about 3 months before I asked for new ones. I reported them stolen so I could keep them as proof.

  40. zimzombie says:

    Favorite Michigan plates: M4M. I just really hope the owner didn’t know the meaning, and had it explained by a concerned friend.

  41. cmhbob says:

    I don’t understand why people who pay $$$ for vanity tags feel the need to further advertise their car? Like MY PT, or MOMS PT, or another similar tag on a PT Cruiser. Yes, I know you have a PT Cruiser. Why do you have to tell me twice? Same with 2K2VET on a Corvette.
    /rant :)

  42. privatejoker75 says:

    I have a feeling my “WTFAWK” plates will eventually suffer the same fate :(

  43. JohnOB1 says:


    This is my favorite Smoking Gun letter… when a guy writes back about his request for a plate (GETN SUM) claiming his plate simply means he is “acquiring the whole amount” (the SUM – he must be a math teacher.)

    But the best part is he’s writing to a guy named DICKENSON – and saying he should change HIS name because it is offensive to some people. HILARIOUS.

    Really, check these letters out.

  44. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @rabiddachshund: And I don’t see the point in your post. Isn’t free speech wonderful?
    @JohnOB1: I liked that one too. Also the part about having an explanation from a rational person and not one who sees everything as a sexual metaphor.

    Maybe we can complain to Mr. Popken about strange metaphors in user names :)

  45. djyox says:

    I still like ‘3M WOJ8’ for the guys, and ‘3M TA3’ for the ladies.

  46. Electroqueen says:

    I don’t get it. What’s so bad about “CNLNGS?” Looks a bit like clonings…

  47. KJones says:

    @djyox: I read about the “blow me” plate in New York, but not the “eat me” plate.

    What is “offensive” depends on how uptight some people are. A few motorists have had “atheist” revoked because some godbot got uppity about it and the idiots at the DMV had the stupidity to listen. I’d like to know exactly how “atheist” is offensive.

    The funniest vanity plate story I read was about retired NHL player Dale Hawerchuk. After his rookie season in 1981-82 (he scored 100 points, then the youngest ever to do that until Sidney Crosby did it), he bought his mother a car and the license plate read, “NHL 100”. People asked why he got her vanity plates.

    He didn’t. The government randomly assigned “NHL 100” to her car.

  48. weg1978 says:

    They still haven’t figured out my FYUOCUK

  49. @crnk: I think the following comments aren’t fit for the Consumerist:

    * Comments asking Consumerist to stop posting funny articles.
    * Comments asking Consumerist to stop posting articles about “X” where X is clearly a consumer issue.
    * Comments that don’t address anything brought up in the original topic or in the comment thread
    * Comments that just say the article is dumb or boring
    * Comments that saying Consumerist is bad in general
    * Comments that blame the victim or claim the victim’s problem is trivial

    I hold no hope that people will stop making these kinds of comments. I just wanted to point it out.

  50. billy says:

    I don’t understand why “making” somebody print the f word in a legal document is a victory. The word is the subject of the letter in the first place. The DMV probably sends these kinds of letters out all of the time. How could it be sexual harassment for the person who has to type out a word? Nothing is directed at the person who typed the word.

    Spend any time in a court room that prosecutes assaults and you’ll hear that word and a lot worse than than that. Just because something is in a legal context doesn’t mean that it’s prudish.

  51. Beerad says:

    @stinerman: Why oh why would you possibly request those plates, especially in Ohio? I mean, I know why, but aren’t you just inviting vandalism or worse?

    @weg1978: Frankly, I would just as soon NOT want the people driving in traffic behind me to have to be staring at my plate, concentrating on solving some cryptic-yet-familiar word jumble (rather than, you know, WATCHING THE ROAD). Especially when the payoff is “Ha-ha, I just said fuck you to some random stranger!” But that’s just me.

    @goodkitty: FWIW, I think PWNDLOL would be a totally acceptable plate, and probably already claimed by gamers in all 50 states.

    @goller321: Hyperbole much? It’s common slang that “FY” often means “fuck you” — it’s not a question of “possible spelling” it’s what the plate actually reads as.

    @Buran: It’s not the “actual situation” that matters. If I want my license plate to be “EAT SHIT” it doesn’t matter if I explain “but I run a restaurant called Sam’s House of International Tacos!”; they ain’t going to give me the plate, and with good reason.

    If the OP really gets his jollies out of seeing dirty words in official (and perhaps officious) paperwork, he needs to get out more.

  52. wring says:

    lol OPEC FU anyone?

  53. billy says:

    @Beerad: Absolutely right: why would you want to draw attention to your car in the first place?

  54. AnnC says:

    May I suggest “I heart OPEC” on the Prius? It has the same message but it’s funnier and doesn’t need any profanity.

  55. Cyfun says:

    Dang, that was pretty subtle, too. Props for getting it for a little while, anyway.

    You should move to Montana. Vanity plates are half the price of what they are in California, and since the population is so low, there are still a lot of good ones available. As far as the censors go, they are pretty lax. I’ve seen ones that say RTFM, BLUE ME, and GOT WOOD. Last year I did try to get WTF M8 and it was shot down, though.

  56. mac-phisto says:

    @Electroqueen: i’m with you. i don’t see how anybody could be against CNLNGS. =P

  57. vladthepaler says:

    i think it’s offensive that the DMV is run by people who are sitting around looking for excuses to be offended.

    Coming soon: IBM forced to change its name because it might stand for Insane Bitchy Mamma…

  58. thatdidnthurt says:

    How is it that this gets stopped by the DMV but they can broadcast, on national TV, the whudafxup anti-cigarrette commercials? I just don’t get it.

  59. crnk says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: Slightly funny, but I’ve seen a lot of your posts, and you have little credibility in my book.
    Also, to stick on topic to my original reason for posting what I originally did–please clarify how DMV is a consumer issue.

    Last time I made the trip, it seemed to be a government agency with set prices and no competition. Furthermore, it was mandatory for any of us registering cars–and governed by law.
    To compare, the USPS raising rates MAY be a slight consumer issue, since in some services offered, they compete directly with other delivery services. But, if they raise the letter rate and nothing else, it isn’t much of a consumer issue–and the extent it is would be in cost of living category.

  60. mac-phisto says:

    @crnk: i would say that this is a consumer issue. consumers choose to pay a premium for vanity plates. although they are not given a choice regarding where to buy them, they can choose whether or not to buy them.

    also, a consumer is simply a person who exchanges money for goods (or services). it doesn’t matter who’s selling, whether they have a monopoly, whether or not they are private sector/public sector/quasi-public/non-profit. that simple transaction of trading places the transaction within the realm of consumerism.

    we are often consumers of government agencies – both directly (purchasing passports/drivers’ licenses/marriage certificates, visiting parks) & indirectly (airport security, food inspection, highway construction). whether we pay for them directly or indirectly, we are consuming their goods & services & therefore, we are their consumers.

    & if not consumers, then what? we are not their constituents, nor their electors…we do not vote for the SES or members of the civil service. we are not their benefactors or investors.

    please, enlighten us. if i am not a consumer of government bureaucracy, what exactly am i?

  61. sibertater says:

    @ptkdude: Does it say, “BUKKAKE?”

  62. PølάrβǽЯ says:

    @zanhecht: Hey, that’s a political campaign; Vote for Gina!

  63. Vastarien202 says:

    That’s nothing, here in AZ, I saw a plate that said
    “HOT CARL”!