By Ashley Evanson
You can?t judge a book by its cover, but can you judge drivers by their license plates? Whether they?re ?HOTSTUF? or they like to ?SWMNSRF,? personalized license plates are a popular way of expressing oneself while out on the road.
One BYU professor brags about a favorite pastime with a license plate that says ?SKNYDPR,? but wouldn?t let his name be used in the newspaper.
Others use their plates to show off their heritage. Val Ugolini, buyer supervisor at the BYU Bookstore, has plates that say ?LVITALY.?
?I am Italian and I wanted to do something that had to do with me and the place I come from, something that makes me proud every time I see it,? he said. ?I?m proud of my country and I?m proud of my origin, so why not?.?
Collegiate plates are another option for personalization and a great way to show a little school pride. According to the Utah Depart-ment of Motor Vehicles, of the 11,035 registered collegiate plates in Utah, BYU comes in third, with 1,562 registered plates, behind Utah State in second and the University of Utah in first with 5,087.
Of course, the BYU Cosmobile wouldn?t have anything but BYU plates, and shows school spirit with ?CUGRS? on a true blue li-cense plate.
Nicknames, political statements, hobbies and professions are other popular phrases that the Utah DMV sees come through. However, drivers can?t have just any phrase they want, said Charlie Roberts, DMV spokesman.
?Plates not allowed are those that have ethnic slurs, sexual nature, things that may be drug-related or that may be violent,? he said
For example, Roberts said that ?KILLER? was recently rejected because of its obvious, violent nature. The driver claimed it was his nickname and not a reference to murder, but the request was still denied. Roberts said rejections can be appealed, but most times, re-quests are still not approved.
The Internet is a helpful tool when filtering thousands of plate requests. Screeners use it to scan for any foul foreign words or gang slang that drivers might try to have approved. If approved, personalized plates cost $55, and the driver will be one of 6,500 Utahns who show a little personality while out on the roads.
Being able to individualize one?s car is fun and amusing to people. Roberts simply explained, ?It?s something different.?
For more information on how to register for a personalized license plate, visit the DMV?s Web site at www.dmv.utah.gov.