CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Everyone loves a fun, custom license plate, but some people can take it too far. West Virginia has banned several license plates for a variety of reasons.

It is required by law that every vehicle should be registered and have license plates on them. Luckily, the West Virginia Department of Transportation issues license plates through the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

The 3 types of license plates in WV are:

  • Specialty license plates
  • Personalized license plates
  • Disability license plates

When it comes to custom license plates, West Virginia DMV policy can be strict. To avoid rejection, custom plates should restrain from using:

  • Profanity,
  • Vulgar or obscene words,
  • Sexually graphic or explicit words,
  • About genitals and private parts of the body,
  • Promoting and encouraging violence,
  • Describing illegal activities.

According to, examples of banned license plates in West Virginia include:

  • ON3SHT: this word includes profanity, and thus it is rejected.
  • SUCKDIS: the person, who chose this word, should have known the DMV would reject this custom plate since it is a vulgar word.
  • FCKTRMP: we can see the combination of letters has political touch in it. Besides, an obscene word is used.
  • SWASTI: as we can figure, the actual word is “swastika”, which represents Nazi Germany. This can mean hate towards a race, nation, thus, it was denied.

That being said, not every vehicle can get a vanity plate. To get a custom plate in West Virginia you must:

  • Own class “A” vehicles, such as cars, motorcycles, and trucks under 10000 pounds.
  • Have a regular class “A” plate that is issued for the titled vehicle. The DMV will not accept any requests unless there is a record for the vehicle or the plate.
  • Submit the application together with the fees.

Those wanting to request a plate should also keep in mind that a standard or scenic plate can go up to 8 characters, a wildlife or motorcycle plate up to 6 characters and a patriotic vanity plate up to 5 characters. The minimum number of characters is 2. Vanity plates cannot be less than two characters. Symbols, punctuation marks, and numbers from 1 to 2000 are also not allowed.

So long as your choice is available, is not offensive, does not include profanity and it does not contradict the regular license plate, then the DMV may issue the vanity plate.

As for the costs of a personalized license plate, according to West Virginia DMV:

  • You should pay a $5.00 transfer fee and a $50 insurance fee:
    1. If you want to transfer the vanity plate from one vehicle to another.
    2. Or you want to change the owner of the plate from husband to wife or the opposite.
  • The fees for different types of custom plates are different: from $44.38 to $93.13.
    1. Vehicle registration costs $51.50 for 1 year and $103 for 2 years.
    2. The custom standard license plate costs $66.50.
    3. Replacement of license plate for decals costs $10, and for plates $10.50.

The DMV is very strict with the choice of custom plates so be careful when ordering yours.