Our car is finally DC-legal. 14 months later. We're sort of bad about DMV regulations, as you can see. There are plenty of excuses related to the ridiculously small window of hours the DC DMV is actually open, but really... there are no excuses. We're slackers who live in a building with a parking garage and thus can get away with being slackers. I must say, though, I've been geekily looking forward to having one of the coolest "state" license plates around.
Confused? Take a gander at this explanation of "Taxation Without Representation" and what it means in DC. Most of the U.S. has no idea that DC residents don't have a vote. That's 600,000 residents, by the way... more folks than the entire state of Wyoming.
Speaking of other states, I confess to loving license plate design. Spotting different state plates makes me a kid all over again, on the long road trip down to Disney World, playing I Spy with license plates. (Just yesterday, walking home: "Ooh! Alaska!") Being an Outer Banks girl, I always liked North Carolina's license plate (which eggs on the heated Wright Brothers rivalry with Ohio... the drama!), but I don't like the switch the state made to red letters a few years ago. Give me the old school blue, please... the red is sort of glaring.
I never had a car in Boston, but I'll endorse the classicism of the Massachusetts plate anyway. Truth be told, I might have been tempted to get the Red Sox plate there, although I firmly support the sentiment of Massachusetts as the Spirit of America, Mass-holedom and all.
For my first car in New Mexico, that amazing combination of late '80s design and mid '00s politics that it was, I was thrilled to have New Mexico's funky old-school license plate on the back, blazing with color alongside all my bumper stickers. In any other context I would hate this garish yellow, but in the Land of Enchantment, it works. Please notice that you're admiring a license plate not just from New Mexico, but "New Mexico USA," by the way. This was part of the state's campaign to assure everyone else that New Mexico is in fact part of America. Sigh... Seriously though, this plate is more effective than something like the "Keep Austin Weird" campaign by a mile. One look at this plate, and you know something strange and awesome is going on in that place.
For my second car, they were out of the cool yellow plates, so I had to go for the "new school" hot air balloon version - very friendly to tourists, very "see, we're a normal state in the United States" of them. The plate might have been less funky than the crazy yellow one, but it's still really pretty. Man I love that place.
When I moved to Texas I was pretty resistant to getting Texas plates, which says as much about my attitude toward Texas at the time as anything. My expired NM plates forced my hand, though, and I truly did approve of the Texas plate design. Its tribute to various state elements is clean and graphically interesting - although it's notably lacking a Dallas Louboutin. It's a pretty Houston plate, all things considered, but nicely done all the same. Never fear: I promptly slapped a political sticker on the car to balance the Lone Starness of it all.
A couple of years later, Texas decided it was time for a new plate, so they ran an online contest where residents would choose the new design. Oh, Texas. Some of my favorite people are from your state, and I will adore Austin until the end of my days, but this sort of represents why people make fun of you:
I want to believe that the Texans who voted for this license plate were doing so with a strong sense of irony. Maybe they thought it would be hilarious to vote for a bad tribute to State Fair airbrushing, because surely the state would not actually print something that heinous. But no, Texas. Your governor is Rick Perry, and your state did in fact print the winning license plate design. And now you are paying the consequences.
Lucky for us, we fled Texas in a hurry before being confronted with that thing. And here we are, cool "Taxation Without Representation" proclaimers at long last.
Am I alone in my license plate geekiness, or do you nerd out to license plates, too? What are your favorites?
(My non-biographical faves: Colorado, Maine, Oregon, and Vermont)