PABST69, 0FJB0 and Many Other License Plates Rejected by WisDOT

Please enjoy our picks of the best of a lively four-year run of vanity tags that were dreamt but never came to be.

From Jan. 15, 2019, to April 13, 2023, the Wisconsin DOT rejected 896 personalized license plates. Most are unpublishable. But here are some interesting ones we can share with the world.


A very Milwaukee reference is negated by the oft-sexualized numerical appendage. Broadly speaking, references to sex, drugs, violence, bodily functions, police and organized crime are verboten.


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Even relatively benign references to profanity are a no-go. Some 40% of rejected plates included an F, and nearly all of them appeared to reference the F-word; it appears in about 2% of non-license plate words.


Only negative political plates are rejected, generally, and it seems one side of the political spectrum is angrier than the other. This rejection on June 2, 2021 – the leading edge of the usage of the profane Joe Biden epithet, according to Google Trends – was one of 28 unique rejected applications referencing it. Many, as this plate used its zeroes, framed it with other letters or numbers. Four others referencing “libs” were shot down. The only other individuals showing up in rejections were Vladimir Putin (twice), Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortes and Tony Evers. WisDOT says TRUMP already exists, though in this neck of the woods we expect that’s a sheepshead reference probably claimed years before the 45th presidency. Speaking of folks Wisconsinites would like to apply the F-word to, the fact that the Cubs and Vikings had one rejection each while nobody wanted to F the Bears likely points to process; previously rejected plates are not reflected in our data.


Think you can squeak by cursing in a non-English tongue? Think again. This Polish epithet with a multitude of nuanced meanings was among six Polish swears rejected in June 2022.


I’m not creatively profane enough to grasp why this was rejected, but I’m guessing it’s not referencing the mother of all bombs or the cool town in Utah.


Sorry, applicant, you may think you are a little winner, but the state thinks you’re saying something else.

And these are too delightful, weird or sad to just let go without noticing:

  • I P00PED
  • 5HTB0X
  • 0MG/WTF
  • C0KE/LVR
  • WAP24
  • H8MYEX


This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine’s July issue.

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Executive editor, Milwaukee Magazine. Aficionado of news, sports and beer. Dog and cat guy. (Yes, both.)