WARNING: The following contains language that may be offensive to some readers.
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — WCCO has obtained the list of 39 license plates being revoked after a statewide review.
The review was prompted by an offensive license plate that went viral last winter.
The plate that read “FMUSLIMS” was discovered on a truck in the St. Cloud area. It took weeks for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety to then review nearly 100,000 personalized license plates.
“It was top to bottom, complete fine-tooth comb review of every single personalized license plate issued in the state of Minnesota,” Minnesota Department of Public Safety communications director Bruce Gordon said.
Among the 39 plates being revoked, several of which are vulgar or variation of curse words, are “REDSKIN,” “TARBABY” and “WYTRSH.”
Jeremy Wiese, from Albany, told WCCO his plate that reads “BEANER” was revoked. The word originated as a racially derogative term for Mexicans. Wiese told the state it was his nickname since childhood.
“The law says that any license plate that would offend the public morals or decency is not acceptable,” Gordon said.
Gordon says even if someone’s plate isn’t intended to be offensive doesn’t mean that it meets the law’s standards. He says words on license plates like Wiese’s, who had his for 10 years, slipped through the cracks before the review.
“It’s something that had to be done, especially in light of the plate that was brought to our attention earlier this year,” Gordon said.
If the drivers of the vehicles who have license plates that are being revoked refuse to replace them, they could be ticketed or fined as their current ones will no longer be valid.
The DPS says of the 49 flagged plates, 20 owners gave an explanation, three of which were later approved by senior DPS management.
Nineteen car owners did not respond, while five decided to get new plates. One of the plates had been issued to an owner who had since passed away, and another to an owner who is moving to another state.
These are the 39 revoked plates: