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'Gestapo' reg plate falls foul of transport agency

The Local · 6 Jul 2010, 15:49

Published: 06 Jul 2010 15:49 GMT+02:00

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The agency rejected an application from a man in Halmstad in June for a number plate with the letters SS as the apparent connection to Nazi Germany was considered to risk offending road-users.

"Personal registration plates captures the attention of others - a good idea for you to show who you are!," agency writes on its homepage, but it seems that Gestapo-themed plates are not alone in being perceived to cause offence by administrators.

Names such as Sexyboy, My BMW, Come On, HEINEKN, and Beetle have also fallen foul of the agency in recent months, the news website has reported.

"Proposals may not cause offence," Tanya Celik at the agency told GP.se.

According to transport agency guidelines the process to apply for a personal number plate takes about ten days and costs 6,000 kronor ($784).

The plates must be between two and seven characters, including spaces, and can be made up of a combination of letters and numbers.

"If you want to use a combination which corresponds to a product or company name then you should contact the trademark holder and received written consent," the agency writes.

The guidelines explain that all applications are subject to the approval of an administrator and cites the most common grounds for rejection is if the suggestion can be considered to cause offence.

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"We discuss why we think it is not a good suggestion and then if we agree it is rejected," Celik told GP.se. If agreement is not reached among agency staff then a lawyer is available to advise on the matter.

Since 2000, the first year when it became possible to extend a personal registration plate in Sweden, the numbers of new personal registration plates and renewals has varied from 1,308 in 2002 to 2661 in 2004. In 2008, 2003 applications were made.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:45 July 6, 2010 by Paul Ballard
They never used to be so carefull. I had BUGGER on my car for many years.
18:35 July 6, 2010 by DavidtheNorseman
"...but it seems that Gestapo-themed plates are alone in being perceived to cause offence by administrators. ..."

Should read: "...are not alone..." given the next paragraph, methinks.
20:26 July 6, 2010 by zircon
Z I R C O N will this name cause offense in Sweden?
21:01 July 6, 2010 by millionmileman
This is fascinating as here in the USA we are one of the few countries in the World to allow risky bumper stickers, most vanity plates and I display the Swedish "S" country of origin badge, as do other people display "GB," "D," etc., which in Europe is integral with the license plate.

In fact many people take pride in displaying automobile makes on their plates. My million mile Saab SPG read with the badge "S" PG SAAB. My 2001 9-3 Viggen is "007 SAAB." Once the State Patrol asked me what it stood for, to which I replied, "I'm licensed to kill BMW's! Having this extremely fast car once enabled me to overtake an offensive black Porsche 911 reading "Zyklon." This is why we have "The First Amendment," to protect offensive political speech.
21:18 July 6, 2010 by J Jack
the price is ridiculous.
21:39 July 6, 2010 by Javlaengelsman
Life can not flourish is a sterile environment. To live in a truely advanced open & free society is to have the right to both offend & be offended. I reserve my right to both. In anycase, for heaven's sake who in the world is harm caused to by a number plate reading "SEXYBOY"? I despare...
23:16 July 6, 2010 by Swedesmith
I say, 4 Q.
04:23 July 7, 2010 by Da Goat
I sat 4-cough.
10:25 July 7, 2010 by spongepaddy
I love that there are committees of people in Sweden deciding what is "offensive" and what isn't. "SS" strikes me as a really daft thing to ban, though. Offend other road users? Shouldn't they be watching the f-ing road instead of looking for things to be offended by?

And "Javlaengelsman" - I know it's not your language but use a spell-checker, dude. It's not that difficult.
11:34 July 7, 2010 by Flappytango
pretty retarded. any two letters could stand for hundreds of things like you will find on acronyms.com.

what if i were to buy a car badged SS (super sport) would i have to remove the badging?
14:50 July 7, 2010 by Aureliano Buendia
SS and Gestapo were 2 different "organizations", but as far as I got from the article SS is described as Gestapo themed. anyways just a small comment, Gestapo should be banned, but what if a person who wants to obtain a personal plate has name lets say Simon Simonsson (SS)? You can not ban all 2 letter abbreviations because of so-called nazi affiliation.
15:28 July 7, 2010 by pjtaipale
So you can't get plates with your initials if you are Samuel Svensson, but you can still get a license plate with the letters VW, aka Adolf's Revenge?
17:58 July 7, 2010 by NovaLand
The application fee does not reflect the cost of administrate the personal license plates, but it's more of a charity. The money goes to a fund that is given to life-saving traffic solutions and projects.

I do think it's a good cause for the fee to go to. It also keeps everyone from getting their own license plates (no big administration is needed).
21:23 July 7, 2010 by wxman
Good one, pjtaipale.
03:30 July 14, 2010 by wenddiver
I have Vanity Tags on all my cars and trucks in the US, but they don't cost anywhere near $784.00!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My favorite says "God Bless America". I also have dual 10 inch LeMans stripes from front to rear and "You drive a car, I drive a Personal Symbol of Freedom" etched into the glass of my window of my Mustang GT. Kids love the hood scoop. Girls love the V-8, dual exhaust motor's rumble. You can make a hell of a statement, even without a vanity plate, if you do the car right.
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