Custom number plates such as ‘BOMB911’ and ‘ZEROFKS’ have been rejected because they were deemed too offensive.
A total of 355 number plate applications have failed to pass a ‘decency test’ and been rejected by South Australia’s Department of Transport since 2018.
Figures obtained by The Advertiser show that ‘ZEROFKS’, ‘OVADOSE’, ‘LUNATIK’, ‘MURDERD’ and ‘BIGARSE’ were also rejected.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the number plate ‘COVID19’ has also been blocked by the department.
Earlier this month, a ‘COVID19’ number plate was spotted on an abandoned grey BMW sedan at Adelaide Airport.
The car was spotted by airport worker Steven Spry, who believes the car has been parked there since ‘February or even earlier’ when the pandemic began.
The plates were later listed on re-sale website Mr Plates with ‘all reasonable offers considered’ from the owner, who is interstate.
But now that the COVIID-19 number plate has been banned by the South Australian Transport Authority, the plates are effectively worthless.
Last month, a motorist has had his custom-made number plates cancelled because officials considered them to be offensive.
Peter Hansen, from Portland on Victoria’s southwest coast, had the plates reading ‘WEPN’ on his 1971 Holden Torana for ten years.
Mr Hansen’s plates were cancelled when his wife Jacinta applied for a set of plates for another car reading ‘WEPN 2’.
He received a letter from VicRoads in June that said both of the plates were ‘unacceptable’.
NSW Roads and Maritime Services also revealed which number plates had been given the red light because they had profanity, drug references or could incite dangerous driving or unrest last year.
‘HUNG4U’, ‘5ATAN’ and ‘PI55ED’ are some of the most common personalised number plates that were banned in the state.
But every year, a series of inappropriate number plates slip through the RMS’ vetting processes, which include ‘compliance officers’ and censors to detect offensive applications.
Around two million light vehicles in Australia have a ‘special’ number plate.
The direct purchase of custom number plates generates money for state governments but reselling is an even bigger market – with some fetching higher prices than cars.
Last year, a car enthusiast who purchased a cheeky number plate designed with the letters ‘F U’ listed it for sale for a staggering six figures.
Johnny Flammea purchased the custom number plate from Vic Roads about 10 years ago for $4,000 because he thought it was ‘funny’ and listed it last year for $100,000.