DOCUMENT: Crime

"Licentious" Plate Tribute Rejected

Virginia woman says 'STFU' license tag was to honor late friend

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"Licentious" Plate Tribute Rejected

DECEMBER 11--The way Kirsten Norman tells it, the vanity license plates on her Volkswagen Jetta were meant as a tribute to a friend who died from cancer. The Commonwealth of Virginia, however, had a different interpretation of 'STFU-PLS.' Acting on a September e-mail complaint that the acronym stood for 'Shut The Fuck Up Please,' the Department of Motor Vehicles quickly recalled the plates, sending Norman a letter noting that the tags were 'issued in error' and no longer valid. Along with the correspondence, DMV officials sent Norman new plates (the less distinctive 'KDA 347') and asked her to return the personalized plates in a self-addressed envelope they provided. Norman responded with an amusing October letter in which she explained the supposedly true meaning of 'STFU-PLS.' Norman noted that she would not allow the state to 'tell me what I can and cannot say on my license plates because of what you THINK it means. This goes against my first amendment rights.' Additionally, in an e-mail to TSG, Norman added, 'God the American Government sucks. Freedom of speech my ass.' (5 pages)