Rejected personalized (aka "vanity) license plates in 2013 (Washington)

Shawn Musgrave filed this request with the Department of Licensing of Washington.
Est. Completion None
Partially Completed


From: Shawn Musgrave

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to RCW Ch. 42.56 (Public Records Act), I hereby request the following records:

This is a request for a list of all personalized license plate number applications that were rejected for the year 2013.

If available I am also looking for:

-The reason for the rejection of the personalized plate.
-The vehicle make and model.
-The City and County where the applicants vehicle would be registered.

I am NOT looking for any personal identifiable information such as first and last name, street number, street name.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 5 business days, as the statute requires.


Shawn Musgrave


To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 8, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: Benfield, Brad (DOL)

Dear Mr. Musgrave,

Thank you for inquiring on the status of your public disclosure request. We are sorry for the delay in processing your request. A procedural issue left your request unassigned, and we are thankful you brought this to our attention.

My agency does not keep annual reports of personalized license plate applications that are rejected. Our application forms contain space for three personal message choices, and if we are able to issue one of the three choices, we do not consider the application "rejected." We also do not track as "rejected" applications that seek plate messages that already are issued, they are simply "unavailable."

We do keep a list of plates messages that are rejected because they violate our laws and/or administrative rules (see below). Attached is the list of license plate messages added to this list in 2013 and 2014. If a plate message is rejected because it already is on the Do Not Issue list, it would not be noted as being rejected in 2013. A comprehensive list also is available. I will work with staff who process personalized plate applications to determine if we can provide more information that aligns with your request. I will let you know within five business days what additional information we may be able to provide.

Again, I am sorry for the delay in processing your request and thank you for your patience. We will take steps to address the issue that caused this delay.

(3) When may the department deny an application for or cancel personalized plates?
(a) The department may deny an application for personalized license plates or cancel personalized license plates previously issued if it determines the plate configuration to be:
(i) Offensive to good taste and decency;
(ii) Potentially misleading;
(iii) Vulgar, profane or sexually suggestive in nature;
(iv) A racial, ethnic, lifestyle or gender slur;
(v) Related to alcohol or to illegal activities or substances;
(vi) Blasphemous;
(vii) Derogatory;
(viii) Slanderous;
(ix) A duplication of license plate or decal numbers provided in chapter 46.09<>, 46.10 or 46.16<> RCW; or
(x) The personalized message appears to replicate the standard configuration for a special license plate; or
(xi) Contrary to the department's mission to promote highway safety.