Driver's license plate request denied: Wait until you see it in the rearview mirror

Written by Jakob A. Overgaard

Sep.03 - 2023 5:50 PM CET

This is not the number plate, see the combination in the article :) Photo: Shutterstock
This is not the number plate, see the combination in the article :) Photo: Shutterstock
At first glance, it's hard to fathom why a man's request for a specific combination of letters and numbers on a license plate was declined. That is, until you view the license plate in a rearview mirror.

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"The combination you've requested can be perceived as offensive." This was the message from the Swedish Transport Agency to a driver who had petitioned to change his license plate. The man had reportedly applied to alter his license plate to the alphanumeric combination: 3JOH22A. This was reported by the Danish newspaper,

However, the agency rejected his request. They apparently believe that offensive messages encompass references to sex, alcohol, drugs, swear words, religion, or crime. At a cursory look, the man's desired combination doesn't seem to signify anything special. But, when you reverse the characters, with a bit of imagination, it appears to spell "asshole."

This inventive driver might have drawn some inspiration from social media. This isn't the first time this slightly controversial combination of characters on a license plate has come to light. Not too long ago, images of a car in the U.S. state of California circulated on the internet with precisely the same numbers and letters on its plate, after they were shared on the social media platform, Reddit.

Photo: Reddit

In the realm of personalized license plates, people often get creative, trying to convey messages or jokes that might only be understood when viewed from a particular perspective or context. This Swedish driver's attempt is a testament to the lengths individuals will go to make a statement, even if it's just for a chuckle or two from those in the know.

While personalized license plates can be a fun way to express oneself or share a joke, it's essential to be mindful of the broader implications and interpretations. What might seem like a harmless combination of letters and numbers to one person could be perceived differently by another.

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