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“FKGAS,” or How Your Love of EVs Can Get You in Trouble With the DMV

Some people get vanity plates that bear some resemblance to their name or nickname, others to make a political or funny statement. One driver from Rhode Island wanted to raise awareness on electric vehicles, he says in a lawsuit filed against the DMV department here.
Tesla with "FKGAS" vanity license plate 32 photos
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Sean Carroll of Providence, Rhode Island owns a Tesla and, by some accounts in the local press, he’s had the current vanity license plate, reading "FKGAS," for as much as half a year. Last month, The Providence Journal reports, he was notified by the DMV that a complaint had been lodged against him and, as a result, his license plate was being revoked.

The DMV notification cited inappropriate language for revoking the plate the department had issued just some months before. Now, the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island is filing a lawsuit against the DMV on behalf of Carroll, citing political censorship in making the decision.

In the lawsuit, Carroll argues that he’s aiming to raise awareness on EVs, because he’s personally fully committed to an environmentally-friendly lifestyle. He has solar panels on the roof of his house and he tries to be as outdoorsy as possible.

As for the meaning of the vanity plate, the DMV would better get their mind out of the gutter, because "FK" stands for “fake.” It was what his daughter called batteries and solar panels on cars: “fake gas.”

‘FKGAS’ is my personal statement challenging everyone to look at the world differently,” the Tesla owner says in court documents. “Gas isn't the only option when it comes to powering your vehicle. My choice for a vanity plate has already brought more attention to alternative fuel sources and electric vehicles.”

Right now, Carroll is hoping to get a court order barring the DMV from revoking his plate and is asking the court to strike down the state law that allows the department to make arbitrary calls on which vanity plates are “offensive.”

 
 
 
 
 

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