In addition to taking pictures of restroom signs, I also enjoy looking around for interesting license plates. There are plenty of these in Illinois, apparently one in five drivers has one. I find this somewhat surprising given their cost: $76 extra for personalized plates and $123 for vanity plates (and who knew there was a difference between those two categories?).

I used to take a lot of pictures of them, but given the volume I have decided to focus mostly on ones that I can decipher and find at least somewhat interesting. Some of my favorites: EUROPA, KODALY, MAKE ART, GENEVE 4 (although that would be cleaner without the number), GOOGLE and MR PHOTO. For that last one I reversed course and went back to park on the street and capture it. I am serious about my collection.:) Among others’ photos, I’ve especially appreciated finds that have some Internet-related meaning (FLICKR‘s the best), but some others are fun as well (e.g. GRUETZI) plus the ones that are not obvious to decipher (although if they are too cryptic I’m likely to miss the meaning). Others are just outright curious, for example, who knew emotional expressions about one’s Mom is a popular theme (I LOV MUM, ILUVMA).

The issue of vanity plates can get tricky quickly as certain expressions are not always allowed. One has to wonder how closely suggested plates get scrutinized. Or would the reverse of a plate be checked (say, you want to send a message to those viewing your plate in their rear-view mirror, do state official consider the reverse reading of submitted requests)? Then there is the issue of specialty plates that support certain causes. The environmental ones don’t cause much contraversy, but the pro-life ones do.

Illinois has a search program available so you can check whether your preference is available. It turns out that mine is, but I’m not ready to spend the $123. I guess I could always just get a bumper sticker.

I see that there are plenty of vanity plates in Calfornia so I look forward to capturing those when I move there in a couple of weeks.

3 Responses to “LIESNS PL8S”

  1. Steve Brantley Says:

    I read your blog in Omea reader. it is a bit much since it wants to be your feed reader, news reader and mail and browser all in one, and i just use it to read rss posts. Anyway, when I read your blog, the “Bookmark and share this post” icons are formatted in an unnumbered vertical list, so I noticed them more than if I was reading your blog from its native site. I wonder, in this nascent stage of web services, linking utilities, and folksonomies, are early adopters diligently posting to, reddit, digg, furl, spurl, etc. in order to proliferate or populate their favorite service? If so, are eager users becoming “viral marketing” agents?

    interesting for discussion. I think I’ll post it to My Blog, “Lost in the StuporMarket”
    –Steve Brantley
    aka brantles

  2. jr Says:

    It is my understanding that the personalized plates (cheaper) must have a number in them thus the GENEVE 4 while the Vanity Plates don’t. I believe that the number may not be of your choosing i.e GENEVE plus any number. It is also possible that GENEVE (the vanity plate) was already taken.

  3. eszter Says:

    Brantles – Thanks for stopping by. I didn’t know about Omea. I don’t know why my feeds aren’t showing up correctly, that’s unfortunate.

    JR – I did a search on the site I reference for searching the IL driver’s license data base and the next available GENEVE plate seems to be GENEVE 9 so I suspect the others are all taken. But you make a good point about the ones with the number costing less. (Then again, if you’re going to spend the money anyway, would the additional $50 mean that much?)