Vanity thy Name is…..your child?

Here in the US we have the option of getting vanity plates – license plates for our cars with our own custom word or saying on it. The number of characters you can use, and cost, varies from state to state. I actually enjoy deciphering vanity plates when I’m out driving and really appreciate when someone shows a sense of humor. There is one car I see often which has “TI 3VOM” on it. When you see it in your rear view mirror it makes more sense…..

Back when I was young(er) and childless with nobody to take care of but myself and plenty of money to burn (oh, the memories) I had a second car, just for fun. It was a cute little red Mazda Miata. It was almost 10 years old when I bought it – I didn’t have that much money to burn! But I did decide to get a vanity plate for it. I made a huge list of possibles and took it with me to the DMV where they could check on availability. I was thrilled when my first choice, HAKUNA, was available. Don’t get it? Hakuna Matata, it means no worries! (Hakuna Matata, Hakuna Miata – get it now?) Anyway, it was fun for me and occasionally I would get comments on it. Of course when I sold the car the plate expired. Ironically, or coincidentally, both HAKUNA and MATATA are on huge trucks that live on the street next to me. I guess they must be big fans of “The Lion King”.  For the record, if I had a Miata today I would go with my second choice of plates, “SPF 0”.

More often than I would expect, I see plates with the name of the car on it. A BMW will have a plate saying “BMW”.  A Corvette will say “MY VETT”. I don’t get this. The model of the car is usually on there from the manufacturer – why would you pay extra for a license plate to say the same thing? It’s like they wanted to be creative with a personalized plate and then froze when it came to an actual idea. If you are a person who has done this, could you explain why? I’m not trying to offend, just to understand the appeal.

An even more disturbing trend I’ve noticed during drop-off and pick-up at Belle’s school is the ever increasing use of a child’s name as the license plate. At first it was just one car. Over the last two years I’ve noticed more and more parents who have put the name of their child on their license plate. Why?? This seems crazy to me. Why would you advertise your child’s name on your car? It’s like the lack of creativity of your car’s name plus lack of privacy boundaries by exposing something supremely personal.

I don’t know – am I the crazy one? Does anyone else think this is odd, or am I on the nutty side? Would you have your child’s name be your license plate? Why or why not? Go ahead, I can take it!


3 responses to “Vanity thy Name is…..your child?

  1. I love the clever plates, such as the one you cited which was decipherable in reverse. I have a vanity plate, of sorts, but it just has my favorite sports team logo on it (The Boston Celtics) and getting that particular style of plate from the state resulted in the fee being given to Children’s Hospital Boston, so that was a big factor.

    • Yes! Some states, Massachusetts being the one I am most familiar with, offer special design plates that you can further personalize – or not. They have backgrounds with various themes – sports teams, conservation efforts, etc. I wish New Hampshire offered the same sports teams options since we’re a New England region of fans, not just states. Oh well!

  2. Ah, are you referring to those pre-kid days when I used to have a snazzy sports car in place of the Tardis I now drag around? I had vanity plate plans, yup, I did, truly. Now I just dream of driving a car with a passenger ejector seat button..

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