Vanity license plates in Maine cost an additional $25 above the standard registration fee. Judging from quick perusals of the Hannaford Supermarket parking lot, plus eyeballing cars zipping along Ocean Avenue, that’s apparently a price locals don’t mind paying.

I’ve been studying this situation for a while now. Over the years I’ve spotted plates that read:  FURRY, SWEEP, GET ER DN, GRAPES and JOJOMOM. And still, almost every day I spot one that surprises me.  

Some folk tout food:

Other plates extol the joys of Maine life:

According to Maine’s Secretary of State, at least one in every 10 plates broadcasts a personal message.  That office also maintains a “bleep list” which includes nearly 6,000 banned profane or obscene phrases. (I had NO idea there were that many bad words. I myself stick to three choice ones.)  Additionally, vanity plates cannot promote criminal activity or violence.

Which is why it’s such fun to pull into the post office and spot:

Several years ago author Holly Sherburne wrote a 50-page book titled THE MAINE PLATE.  Sherburne highlighted 250 unique vanity plates she had spotted in the Pine Tree State and related “the touching stories behind plates such as DUSTOFF and HADENUF.”

To which I can only say: