Personalized License Plate Guidelines and Restrictions
Personalized license plates are issued pursuant to Va. Code § 46.2-726, which provides that "the Commissioner may, in his discretion, reserve license plates with certain registration numbers or letters or combinations thereof for issuance to persons requesting license plates so numbered and lettered."
DMV will deny applications for personalized license plates in accordance with the Personalized License Plate Issuance Guidelines set forth below. DMV will cancel and recall any personalized license plates which were issued and subsequently discovered to be in violation of the Guidelines.
Personalized License Plate Issuance Guidelines
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will not approve an application for a personalized license plate if the requested plate contains any combination of characters that in any way carries a connotation which may reasonably be seen by a person viewing the license plate as:
- Profane, obscene, or vulgar in nature;
- Sexually explicit or graphic;
- Used to describe intimate body parts or genitals;
- Used to describe drugs, drug culture, or drug use;
- Used to condone or encourage violence;
- Used to describe illegal activities or illegal substances;
DMV reserves the right to recall and cancel any personalized license plate that was issued if the agency subsequently determines or discovers that the personalized license plate was not in compliance with these guidelines when issued or if, due to changing language usage, the personalized license plate has become non-compliant with these guidelines.
In determining whether a personalized license plate will be recalled and cancelled for violating these guidelines, DMV may consider bumper stickers, decals, magnets, pictures and/or any other material affixed to the vehicle which would influence how a person viewing the license plate would interpret the message conveyed by the character combination. An offer by the vehicle owner to remove such material as is affixed to the vehicle will not constitute sufficient basis to reverse a determination to recall and cancel a personalized license plate.