The Days of Obscene Maine Vanity Plates May Be Coming To An End
We've seen plenty of obscene Maine vanity license plates making the rounds on the internet and on the roads of our state.
Others you've seen on the internet with blatant obscenities, specifically curse words, we can't even show you.
These indecent Maine vanity plates have caused quite a few complaints from motorists and some in the Maine legislature say 'enough's enough'.
Currently, there are three bills pending in the Maine legislature that would allow the Secretary of State to 'remove' current vanity plates that are deemed offensive or obscene and deny future requests that are offensive or obscene as well.
A press release sent out by the Secretary of State, Shanna Bellows, on Tuesday supports enacting these bills due to regular complaints by motorists of the fowl language seen on roads with state-issued plates.
The bills currently pending are:
- LD 130, titled 'An Act To Create Appropriate Standards for the Secretary of State To Follow When Approving the Assignments of Vanity Registration Plates'
- LD 200, titled 'An Act To Allow the Secretary of State To Refuse To Issue or To Recall a Vanity Registration Plate with Vulgar, Obscene, Contemptuous or Profane Language'
- LD 289, titled 'An Act To Authorize the Secretary of State To Reject Certain Vanity License Plate Request'
Why are obscene, vulgar and offensive license plates a new problem? In 2015, the State of Maine changed laws regarding vanity plates to be rejected for only three specific reasons: false association with a specific institution, duplication or language that was violent or could cause violence or some other 'unlawful activity'. Before these law changes, the Secretary of State had the authority to reject vanity plates for other reasons which is why obscene plates are being seen in more recent years.
These three acts would allow verbiage to the Maine State Law to include that the Secretary of State may reject vanity plates for more reasons that include:
- False association with government or government agency
- Elimination of vulgarities and obscenities, as well as 'racial or ethnic epithets
- Using terms for certain parts of the body
- References to drugs or intoxicants
- 'Suggests a privilege not given by law in the State'
- Any slang, mirror image, phonetic spelling or abbreviation of anything listed in the rejection list
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