Skip to main content
Bridge Michigan
Michigan’s nonpartisan, nonprofit news source

0HCRAP, Michigan bans 25K license plates for being 2DAMH0T

michigan license plate
Thousands of custom license plates have been rejected in Michigan for being obscene or vulgar. (Shutterstock)
  • Over 25,000 license personalized license plates have been rejected by the Secretary of State  
  • The department rejects license plates that depict curse words, intimate body parts or are harmful to a group or business 
  • Some license plates were rejected because the phrase becomes vulgar in combination with an organization’s logo

Michiganders who want other drivers to “0000HHH” and “AAAAAAH” over their license plate can request personalizations through the Secretary of State. 

But beware: both 0000HHH and AAAAAAH are among the over 25,000 personalized license plates that have been banned over the years for being graphic, crude or tasteless. 


Custom license plates like  “2020WTH” or “0HCRAP” are among those that are banned in the state of Michigan. Others like “ALQUEDA” are prohibited because they may be harmful to a group. 

Even the phrase “0BSTER” which at first glance seems harmless is banned, but only if used with a University of Michigan license plate that includes the distinctive block “M.” The same license plate is banned in conjunction with the custom plate “0VBIH.” 

>> Click here to see all the banned license plates

That’s according to a “living” list of rejected personalized plates Bridge Michigan obtained from the Secretary of State via the Freedom of Information Act. The department said they don’t track denials by year, but rather add to a continuously growing list. 

Typically, license plates are denied for either being too vulgar, alluding to bodily functions or containing curse words like “2DAMH0T” or “04FSAKE.” 

Plates can also be denied if they reference drugs, alcohol — “25T0NED” is on the list— if they reference criminal activity like “JRMAFIA”, or if they contain slurs. 


To determine the fate of a personalized plate, 25 volunteers are split into three groups, and each have a role in whether a license plate is rejected, said Angela Benander, spokesperson for the Secretary of State. The groups periodically rotate responsibility. 

The first group does the initial review of the request before passing it to the second group, which votes on whether to deny plates. The third group is responsible for contacting residents to inform them on denials and provide alternative ideas, she said.

Customers can appeal the decision and make the case for their personalized plate. 

“Processing times for approved or rejected plates are typically 1-3 business days. In cases where committee approval is necessary that could extend up to a week or more,” Benander said. “In some cases it could take additional time if the committee needs to consult with our legal team.”

The department has the authority to reject license plates like “GANG,” “CRAZYB,” “DEMN” or any other combination of letters and/or numbers that: 

  • Contain profanity or obscene language  
  • Depicts a swear word 
  • Is sexually explicit or graphic
  • Describes intimate body parts or genitals 
  • Describes alcohol, alcohol use, drugs, drug culture or drug use
  • Describes illegal activities or illegal substances 
  • Interferes with plate identification for law enforcement purposes 
  • Promotes hate or violence to a business or group

Personalized license plates can also be denied when in combination with an organization's logo. 


For example, a license plate spelling “1CFACE ” can’t be used with a Detroit Tigers license plate, because the “D” in the logo creates a new phrase which is vulgar. The same goes for “00CHIE” with Central Michigan University's “C” logo. “3RL0T” alongside the University of Michigan’s “M” logo becomes an alcohol reference and is banned. 

About 600 plates are banned only in combination with an organization’s logo.

Michigan residents seeking a personalized plate can check availability on the Secretary of State’s website and view how the plate will look if approved.

How impactful was this article for you?

Only donate if we've informed you about important Michigan issues

See what new members are saying about why they donated to Bridge Michigan:

  • “In order for this information to be accurate and unbiased it must be underwritten by its readers, not by special interests.” - Larry S.
  • “Not many other media sources report on the topics Bridge does.” - Susan B.
  • “Your journalism is outstanding and rare these days.” - Mark S.

If you want to ensure the future of nonpartisan, nonprofit Michigan journalism, please become a member today. You, too, will be asked why you donated and maybe we'll feature your quote next time!

Pay with VISA Pay with MasterCard Pay with American Express Pay with PayPal Donate Now