Ever since vanity plates have become more accessible, almost everyone wants to get a piece of the attention. Sadly, if your last name happens to be “Grabher”, you might have to think twice about getting a custom license plate.
A news report came about last Friday about a certain Lorne Grabher, a Canadian citizen who has been denied of using his personalized license plate by the Nova Scotia Government. The Registry for Motor Vehicles apparently canceled his registration after receiving complaint from one of the motorists. His surname, according to the provincial authority is considered to be misogynistic and offensive to women.
According to Grabher, his father’s vanity plate had the same last name on it for decades and this was the only time that the government has not allowed him to file for a renewal.
Despite the fact that Grabher is a very common German name, the Canadian provincial government explained that they have since denied requests for personal license plates with double meaning words and phrases. To better explain this, Brian Taylor from the Transport Department branch cited other examples of words that have inappropriate connotations. Among which includes Eseguy, Dognut, Callgl and Ficaca.
Grabher however believes that the Nova Scotia Government is discriminating him over his last name. To his disappointment, he even brought the issue to social media and posted his thoughts on Facebook that says; “Where does it state that my last name is considered a slogan in the Motor Vehicle Act?” --- along with this, Grabher also said “I feel this is a total abuse of power by Ms Director of Road Safety”.
In defense, the licensing department’s spokesperson said that Grabher’s license plate was originally filed in 1989. In an email, Brian Taylor explained that the licensing regulations at that time were still at the early stages. He added that the person who processed the license plate then might not have misinterpreted the surname unlike how it is today.
In Ontario Canada, the provincial licensing website indicated its own set of regulations for vanity plates. The site forewarns the applicants that their names could be rejected if it is found to be suggestive of a sexual message or meaning. Aside from this, the website also listed obscene and profane language, derogatory, vulgar and abusive words as grounds for rejection.
Likewise, the Alberta government has its own set of rules when approving personal license plates. According to the Service Alberta website, references to controlled substances, alcohol, illegal activity, politics and sex will not be allowed.