Massachusetts was the first state to issue regular license plates on September 1, 1903. The American vanity plate was born in 1965 when states began allowing drivers to customize their own AW-SUM plates.

Of course, you pay extra to have your own choice of letters, numbers, phrases and such. Some states allow up to 7.5 characters, with a space or hyphen counting as a .5 character. President Ronald Reagan's vanity plate was GIPPER, but Sweden rejected a request for a vanity plate reading TRUMP, claiming it violated motor vehicle department rules against "offensive phrases."

The Rhode Island DMV is recalling a plate that got by a new employee who missed FKGAS. Another driver spotted it and told the DMV they found the plate offensive, so the owner will have to turn in his FKGAS and he'll get a new plate at no additional cost as long as he comes up with a different message, OKY DOKY?

Some folks are SO 4CHN8 to have vanity plates, others are grateful – IOU DAD – while some wonder R-ULOST and others should just PASS ME.

I didn't mean to go OVR D EDG with this, so ESCUZME while I make my exit.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at phil@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app