New Jersey resident David Silverman, president of the group American Atheists, was willing to pay for a personalized license plate that reflects his views on religion. In the state of New Jersey, it costs $50 to acquire a customized license plate. But the MVC rejected his application, claiming that the word “atheist” is offensive, Silverman tweeted after the incident.
Earlier this year, the New Jersey Star-Ledger published the list of words that the MVC refuses to print on license plates. But the list, which has a total of 1,085 words and is dated Nov. 26, 2012, does not include the word atheist.
MVC spokesman Mike Horan told the paper that personalized license plate applications are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, especially since new slang words are continuously arising.