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Some Reasons I Don’t Have Personalized License Plates

July 25, 2017

Now that I’ve been driving for over 20 years, it occurred to me recently that I will probably never get vanity license plates for my vehicles. It’s not that the cost is prohibitively expensive; here in Ohio the price is $50 every time you register your car in addition to the normal yearly registration fees- so basically $50 more than normal to have your very own plates to proudly display year after year.

No, my main reservations about getting personalized plates is that they are in fact “too personal.” By that I mean, I don’t know that I want to broadcast specific details of my life to every complete stranger behind the wheel of a car. Do I really want everyone behind me in traffic to know that I’m a Game of Thrones fan or that I really love cookies?

Not only does the state of Ohio give you the option of picking what your plates say, but they also have a whole plethora of logos and other affiliations that you can select as well. Some of my favorites include the Superman logo, Future Farmers of America and The Ohio State Beekeepers Association- and these are some of the more well-known plates I could find.

There are also plates for less known causes or associations that I wasn’t even aware of such as The Eastern Star (which is apparently an offshoot of the Freemasons) and the Fallen Linemen plates which help spread awareness and memorialize electric linemen that have been killed while on the job.

But back to one of my main contentions with vanity plates… basically I don’t want the burden of having to represent a cause with my driving. While I consider myself a pretty safe and defensive driver, there are times when I inadvertently have cut people off or slammed on my brakes or generally driven like an idiot and I don’t think that people would appreciate my bad driving associated with their cause.

I can see it now. I cut someone off in traffic and then he pulls up to me at the next stoplight and starts cussing me out.

“You son of a bitch, go back to bee keeping because you drive like shit!” Or, “Hey jackass, why don’t you ride one of your horses instead since you obviously don’t know how to drive?”

In the same vein, I don’t necessarily want people to easily remember my plates. Not that I’m doing anything criminal but I can foresee a time when I do cut someone off where I would like to afford myself the luxury of quickly blending back into the flow of traffic and giving the offended driver some doubt as to whether I actually was the car that cut him off ten minutes before. That’s pretty hard to do when you have a clearly identifiable plate.

“Oh yeah, there’s that jack-hole again who cut me off yesterday, I would recognize that Ohio Beef plate that says ‘STEAK1’ anywhere. Let’s just give him a taste of his own medicine.”

So yeah, no personalized plates for me. I do encourage you to check out the Ohio License Plate Availability Checker site though as it provided me with some great entertainment as you can actually check to see if your desired personalized plates are available and it provides mock-ups of what they would look like.

“So young man, the reason I pulled you over is because several other drivers reported you driving dangerously and swerving erratically.”

“But officer, how do you know it was me? There are plenty of other silver SUV’s on the road.”

“Um, your plates are pretty unforgettable.”

“Oh. Yeah I forgot about that.”


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