State officials asked to look into controversial license plate

Jan 10, 2020, 6:32 PM | Updated: 7:38 pm
State officials asked to look into controversial license plate...
(Credit: Matt Pacenza via Twitter)
(Credit: Matt Pacenza via Twitter)

SALT LAKE CITY – It’s only seven letters, but a personalized license plate saying “deport ‘m” is getting a lot of angry buzz on social media.  Several people are asking state officials how it ever could have been approved.

The Utah Tax Commission has been getting some calls after pictures of the license plate starting spreading.  However, Spokesperson Tammy Kikuchi says, “Mostly, there were concerns expressed on Twitter.”

There are several things that are supposed to stay off personalized license plates according to state statute.  These include words related to political affiliation, race, heritage gender and religion.  However, Kikuchi says there are occasions when a plate falls through the cracks, despite their best efforts.

“There are around 450 requests for personalized license plates every month,” she says.

The commission could review this plate to determine if it should be recalled, but, Kikuchi says the commission hasn’t made their decision about that.

“If, after review, it was determined the plate should not have gone out, then a letter will be sent to the plate owner, asking for them to voluntarily give up the plate,” Kikuchi says.

The owner can appeal the decision, but if that appeal is denied, the plate will have to be given up.  Kikuchi says that person wouldn’t even be allowed to keep it on their wall.

“The penalty is that if they don’t surrender the plate, then their vehicle registration will be rescinded,” she says.

The Deseret News says some lawmakers believe the plate violates state law.

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State officials asked to look into controversial license plate