GR8 PL8S

KCBOXR. BEAMEUP. SWAP 4 EX. We've all seen them -- personalized license plates. Some make you want to laugh, others m
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

 

KCBOXR. BEAMEUP. SWAP 4 EX.

We've all seen them -- personalized license plates. Some make you want to laugh, others make you want to shake your head.

There are more than 9.2 million personalized plates zooming around the country. Ohio is ranked 14th for the number of personalized plates with just under 5 percent of vehicles sporting vanity plates, according to the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administration.

But why have they become so popular?

James Lee of Bellevue said it only makes sense to personalize plates.

"I never understood the concept of spending $30,000 on a car and putting 'YRL 933' on it," he said.

Lee, 28, said since he was 16 years old he's had personalized license plates which have added up over the years including: TURBO 84, 4 PINKS, I GO SOLO, BOUND, 93 NOTCH, BUY FORD, LUV FORD, 4 BY FORD and currently OVER IT and NEXT TYM.

"People love them," he said. "Everybody always remembers them. They'll say, 'I remember seeing your car back in the day with those plates. That was cool.'"

Lee has also started collecting other people's old vanity plates and has upwards of 35. He said his favorites are the ones that have a message or saying on them, rather than initials, and remembers one plates he tried to get, but was denied by the BMV: NUKE GM.

Maria Berardi-Nainee's license plate serves as her own personal advertisement. The licensed massage therapist's license plate reads BACKRUB.

"I was trying to think of a word that would best describe massage and it was really hard," she said. "After sitting in the office with a couple friends for hours, we came up with 'backrub.'"

She said the plate generates comments and honks everywhere she goes.

"I don't think I will (change it). It describes me well. Massage is what I love to do, and that is how people know me," she said.

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