More controversial number plates revealed - but which ones are banned?

One car with a controversial number plate.
One car with a controversial number plate. Photo credit: Reddit

Kiwis have shared the controversial number plates they have seen around New Zealand with sexual connotations after a Hawke's Bay man called for a group of number plates to be removed from circulation on Monday.

James Crow told RNZ on Monday he was shocked when he found out his new car's number plate featured the letters 'NGR'.

"We arrived at the AA Centre to receive it and as we drove in, and my wife saw it first and said 'oh my, we can't have that on the front of our car'," he told RNZ.

The story caused other Kiwis to share concerning number plates they had seen around the country on the New Zealand Reddit thread.

"With all the news about offensive number plates in the news; it reminded me of this beauty that I saw in Wellington," the person posted, along with a picture of the plate 'FAP'.

One person wrote their neighbours used to have the plate 'FML365', which letters stand for F**k My Life.

Another person commented: "I know someone with 'ANU5**'".

"There's a car, a Honda Jazz, going around Blenheim with the personalized plate 'MMOIST'."

A spokesperson for Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency confirmed the "FAP" plates were released in June 2009, and said they had no information on the three-letter combination as the decision to issue the plates (or not to withhold them) would have been made 12 years ago.

However they revealed some plates which have been withheld including:

  • BUT
  • CNT
  • FAG
  • FUK
  • JAP
  • KKK

The NZTA spokesperson said they consider several factors when deciding to withhold plates and letter combinations are generally excluded if they are deemed to be: offensive, derogatory, promoting violence, discrimination or bias against race, age, religious or ethical belief, ancestry, place of origin, family or marital status, or disability.

"These are the same criteria which are used when assessing applications for personalised plates."

The spokesperson said for each of the letter series they mentioned had been banned, there would be 999 plates.

"The number of general issue plate series not issued because the three-letter combos are deemed offensive is relatively small. There are several thousand combos that won't be issued for the much more mundane reason that they contain letters which can be confused with other letters or numbers, causing issues for Police and other enforcement authorities. That includes any plates with an 'I', an 'O' or a 'V', as these can be confused with the numbers 1 and 0, and the letter U."