The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles has pulled a man's customized license plates that he has been driving around with on his car for the past seven years.
Rick Sanders purchased customized plates that read “FOSAMA” seven years ago, but this week received a letter from the state's DMV Dept. saying his plates were being replaced because they are “profane, obscene or vulgar in nature," ABC News reports.
“Right after the attacks of 9/11, I decided I wanted to do something to show that I’m patriotic,” Sanders told ABC affiliate WVEC.
The "F" could mean anything, he says.
While upset about the decision to revoke his old plates, Sanders is also upset about the new combination of numbers and letters the DMV issued him which read "6668UP.”
The numbers "666" are commonly viewed as "the Number of the Beast" and associated with being a satanic symbol.
“I’m offended by this,” Sanders told ABC News. “I don’t like anything with 666 on it.” Sanders said his newly issued plates read as “The devil ate you up.”
Virginia is a state that offers an extensive number of background designs and opportunities for customized plates, those driving in the region often have license plates that look nothing like their neighbors'. The state DMV does have specific guidelines which outline what cannot appear on a customized license plate.
The policy includes the phrase: DMV reserves the right to recall and cancel any personalized license plate that was issued if the agency subsequently determines or discovers that the personalized license plate was not in compliance with these guidelines when issued or if, due to changing language usage, the personalized license plate has become non-compliant with these guidelines.
Pam Goheen, a spokesperson for the Virginia DMV said, “Language is an ever changing thing. Sometimes are we overly cautious? Sure, but we rely on the public to notify us when they see messages that are potentially objectionable.”
Goheen also indicated any registrants can ask to exchange any plate [free of charge] they find personally offensive and the agency will work with an individual to change license plates.
Sanders does not want his new plates and will likely exchange those, however he is reportedly also considering challenging the DMV on the revocation of his plates. He says no one has ever complained to him in the last seven years.