Jim Arkfeld: Personalized license plates -- A way to express oneself

March 16, 2013 

Some vehicle owners like to express their individuality with personalized license plates.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles offers a number of special-interest plates, including for the handicapped and veterans and those raising money for a cause, such as the California Arts Council, protecting Lake Tahoe and the Yosemite Conservancy.

The most common type of specialized licenses are vanity plates. These allows motorists to choose up to seven letters, numbers or characters.

Some plates tell who owns or drives the car: "ANT GG," "TISHSCAR," "JIMBUCK," "4SNUKIE," "4UDAV" and "ATOY4N8" (a toy for Nate).

Expressions of love are reflected in "KGBTJB," "MCLUVIN," and "KGQR."

Moms get special attention with "CALLMOM" and "YO MOM."

Messages about cars are popular and include "2GTDRTY" (a Jeep to get dirty), "FORDNO1," "LVMYRGL" (love my Regal), "VWQUEEN" and "LOVMITK" (love my truck).

Los Banos is in the heart of duck-hunting country as evidenced by "4ME2HNT" (for me to hunt), "DUC HNTR" (duck hunter), "DUCK KLR" (duck killer), "HNTN DUK" (huntin' duck), "DUKNLAB" (duck and Labrador) and "DUKMNDR" (duck mender).

Among sports topics we have "49er1FN" (49er #1 fan), "GO 4PIT" (Steelers), "R8RFRK" (Raider freak), "ISKIEN" (I love skiing), "SET2ME" (set to me; tennis), "TOBIKE" and "AROWBIX" (aerobics), and "HOOSON 1" (who's on first).

Some occupations show up as "1DJ DAVE," "BNKER" (banker), and "NURSNIC" (nurse in I.C.), "I2TEAC" (I love to teach), "LIK2TCH" (like to teach), and "4 I KNO" (for I know) and "IDOIQ4U" (I do IQ for you). The latter is a school psychologist.

Agriculture and dairies are reflected in "COTTON1," "GJSFARMS," "LAMCHPZ" (Lamb chops), "COWZPAY," "MOOCRZY" (moo crazy), "MILKBIS" (milk business), "COWSR4S" (cows are for us), "HAY BABE" and "TOMATO5."

Some business owners identify themselves this way: "AAATOW5," "CALL4AC" (call for A.C.), "LB BAIL" (Los Banos Bail), "LB RLTR" (Los Banos Realtor), "HAIRTME" (Hair Time), and "SHINERZ" (Shiners; a local bar and grill).

Here are more: "MSLNEOS," miscellaneous; "WNDNRGY," wind energy; "DRGNPWR," dragon power; "WNITHPU," Winnie the Pooh; "DZNYPXY," Disney pixie); "EBINGO"; and "KE6UCX," a ham radio operator's call.

"T8KCHRG" likes to take charge; "THEBTLS" likes Beatles; "RUNUTZ" asks: are you nuts?

A businessman who is a native of Australia has the term "LYMIE" on his car's plates. His second car license has "LYMIE2" while his wife's plates read "DORLIES", her first name.

Any driver would like to possess this: "ZERO OWD" (zero owed).

On a very serious note, "2PAUSE" is the license plate of a Navy veteran who is a cancer survivor. During her cancer treatment, caregivers encouraged her "to pause and reflect." A Los Banos banker with "USMC" finished a distinguished 20-year Marine Corps career, including tours in Desert Storm.

And if you happen to see "PH1707" with the inscription "Combat Wounded" at the bottom of the plate and a Purple Heart insignia on the far left side, give a salute. This highly decorated Los Banos veteran was awarded the Silver Star and three Purple Hearts for his valor.

Arkfeld, of Los Banos, is a retired teacher.

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