Remember the “LGBFJB” license plate that was recalled? Alabama is changing its mind. The state has recalled license plates in the past when they appeared to be inappropriate. But Nathan Kirk, the man who paid over $700 for the “LGBFJB” license plate said “it’s letters” in response to the 10-day surrender of the license plate.
The original letter that was sent to Kirk said, “The Alabama Department of Revenue, Motor Vehicle Division, has determined the above referenced license plate contains objectionable language which is considered by the Department to be offensive to the peace and dignity of the State of Alabama.”
Regarding the original letter, Kirk also said, “It could be my kid’s initials. It could be my grandmother or grandfather. It’s just letters. It doesn’t spell anything.”
After speaking to the media about the issue, Kirk received an apology letter from the state after they received backlash from residents of the state.
The apology letter said, “The Alabama Department of Revenue, Motor Vehicle Division, has determined the above referenced license plate will not be recalled. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.”
On “The Line” podcast, Kirk explained that the State had walked up “big and tough” to try to get him to turn his tag back in. Kirk said that the state is “limping back” and interpreted the letter as, “We’re sorry Mr. Kirk, we really apologize, you’re a lot bigger and stronger than us.” The podcast host joked that the state apologized for being “Nazis” for threatening to take the license plate back.
The phrase “Let’s Go Brandon” is as polite and encouraging as it gets, but the “F*** Joe Biden” can be a little trickier. Kirk asserts that he doesn’t use the phrase and instead says, “Forget Joe Biden.” And the state of Alabama has no way of proving that he purposefully used a curse word on the license plate.
This is another win for free speech. A different license plate may result in a different decision and the state has the ability to deny the next license plate if they deem it inappropriate.
The state has previously said and exercised that “the issuance of motor vehicle registrations is not centralized and must be processed at the county level. However, the Motor Vehicle Division does hold the authority to approve personalized messages on license plates.