Dirty Letters

license plate, vanity plate, DMV, grandchildrenSSCSSN – the DMV claims these letters could be “considered offensive.”

On September 21, I sent my permission form to the California DMV (Division of Motor Vehicles) for a new ‘vanity’ license plate using the initials SSCSSN.

But my request was denied.

Why? I can’t figure it out, but perhaps you can.

Here is some background to the mystery: two years ago, when my guy and I moved from MA to CA and needed a license plate, I applied for the wacky, weird combination of SSCS. How did I choose those letters, you ask? (As many do after I park my car and start to walk away…)

My usually ‘unsentimental’ man had the idea – the first initials of our baby grandchildren, in birth order.

Approved! Back in 2010, SSCS seemed just fine to the “Special Processing Unit” over in Sacramento.

But 4 months later, just when my license plate finally arrived by mail, our son and daughter-in-law announced a baby in the making, and a few months after that, our daughter and son-in-law made an identical pronouncement.

Two more initials needed for the license plate!

When grandson Sloan was born in March, we figured, ah, SSCSS. Has a certain symmetry, doesn’t it? But we waited for six more months until the last (and final?) grandchild was born. Neville.

Thus, in late September, I filled out the application for a new vanity plate – SSCSSN, and sent it along to the powers-that-be with a check.

To my surprise and disappointment, I received a letter this week from the manager of the DMV’s “Customer and Program Support Unit” stating that “Per CA Vehicle Code, Section 5105, the department may refuse any combination of letters and numbers that may be considered offensive, (or) which could be misleading…”

I don’t know about you, but have you watched TV lately; listened to the words on some of the newest, hottest songs on the radio (or just listened to the vitriol spewed out by a DJ); paid attention to a billboard; even, dare I say, read some of the messages that non-thinking people place on their Facebook page? Those, I grant you, can be offensive. But SSCSSN??

All I want is to have some good clean fun with my grandkids, their parents, my family, by acknowledging the presence of these Sweetly Sanguine Completely Scrumptious Splendid Newcomers.

And this reasoning is what I explained in a letter to the Manager of the Customer and Program Support Unit of the Special Processing Unit, DMV, in Sacramento.

Do you think they’ll reconsider?

grandchildren, babies, family


33 thoughts on “Dirty Letters

  1. Good luck with your license plate. Let us know what happens.
    Happy Thanksgiving, Hugs to Marcia if she will be with you.
    Lil Rea


  2. The DMV better accept those initials of my GREAT grandchildren (btw they are all adorable) or I will go to see him and tell him a thing or two with no initials! marcia


  3. Um… I don’t have access to the corporate DMV brain, but I’d guess that the letters “SCS” in that order suggest to them the word “sucks?” If that’s not it, then ya got me. But ya got YOU some mighty adorable grandkids!!!


    • You know, you’re right, I should have sent the photo to them. Instead, I just wrote a nice little letter explaining the meaning. If I get refused, the photo goes with the next request! :+)


  4. Man, I couldn’t figure out what in the world would be offensive in that string of letters. Even read all the comments to see if anyone else figured it out, either. I agree with the comment up above. Send the photo to the DMV. You might just melt someone’s heart–or else, they’ll possibly provide an explanation!


    • Thanks for trying to figure it out – we certainly can’t. But I sent the letter to the ‘powers-that-be’ and we’ll see what happens. Hopefully they have hearts soft enough to melt!


  5. I picked out SSN as in Social Security Number. But what’s offensive about that? Something to do with taxes? Now we’re talking dirty! What a cute collection of kids. Lucky grandma!


    • Hmmm, social security number, hadn’t thought of that one. So they think I’m writing a code for how to cheat social security, or some such nonsense? Ho boy, beaurocracies have a hard time believing in innocence, sweetness and joy.


  6. I’m scratching my head about what that string of letters could possible mean that would be offensive. I love your photo, especially the monkey, and hope the DMV will see it your way. 🙂


    • And we’re all creative writers – if there was a way to figure out something fishy in these letters, we would have! I’ll have a follow through post when I hear back from the DMV – but that could be months away….


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