If you were hoping to have WARPIG, SWATT or SMRTASS as a custom licence plate in Nova Scotia, you’re out of luck.
They are custom licence plates that have been rejected by the province’s Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (TIR) department for being too offensive, referring to drug or alcohol use or generally unacceptable.
The tags — 107 in total — are contained in a dataset released under Nova Scotia’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIPOP) Act and cover a nearly two-year period between March 24, 2017, to January 30, 2019.
Custom licence plates have been available in Nova Scotia since 1989, with ARLENE being the first plate issued.
There’s a $107.35 fee to initially apply for a custom licence plate and then a $30.05 annual fee to renew the plate.
READ MORE: MPI’s guidelines on offensive licence plates
It’s not hard to see why some of the 107 plates have been rejected as they contain racial slurs, curse words or sexually explicit phrases.
Phrases like DAWIFE, DTHCRUZ and HOTNAN were deemed to be offensive or in poor taste, a reason that was cited 44 times when prospective plates were rejected, according to an analysis of the data.
Others, like IPA, KANABIS or RUMRUNR were deemed to reference alcohol or drug use and were banned as well.
The province determined that 14 plates, including phrases like H82LUZ, RARN2GO and GMEATER were related to racing or speeding and rejected them.
But licence plates don’t need to be offensive in order to be rejected.
WATCH: Man believes licence plate cut by someone in attempt to get sticker
If they’re too close to the plates issued to government departments, such as 50SAR being too similar to search and rescue plates, or are a company’s name they’re also rejected outright. Nine plates were rejected for those reasons.
Plates such as DR NURS and TUTH DR were rejected for implying official authority.
Fourteen plates that were deemed to cause identification issues or be confusing to read, such as AWOOOOO, GGRRRRR, 0QQQQQ0, were rejected.
Grabher licence plate legal battle
The list is reminiscent of a long-running legal battle between a Nova Scotia retiree and the provincial government.
In 2016, the registrar of motor vehicles refused to renew Lorne Grabher’s eponymous licence plate. The province said they had received an anonymous complaint in December 2016 from a citizen who described the plate as being hateful towards women and promoting violence against women.
Nova Scotia officials agreed, finding the plate to be a “socially unacceptable slogan.”
A spokesperson from TIR told the Canadian Press in 2017, that although the phrase was Grabher’s legal surname that context wasn’t available to the general public who would see it.
Grabher has told media that he first purchased the personalized licence plate as a gift for his late father around 1990 and that it expressed family pride in their Austrian-German heritage.
The judicial review of the Grabher licence plate is due back in court on April 23.