Md. screws up vanity plates

March 28, 2011

The "XTRRVNU" vanity license plate mocked up on Sunday's front page ("Raising revenue," March 27) is impossible to actually get because the War of 1812 design has replaced the classic black on white Maryland tag. One of the reasons I asked Del. Keiffer Mitchell to introduce legislation to restore the use of the classic tag for personalized plates (HB 697) is that vanity messages of five to seven characters obscure the Star Spangled Banner. (By the way, the heron on the Chesapeake Bay tag goes missing in action when the plates are personalized.)

Another reason to bring back the classic black on white tag, besides presenting the perfect canvas for a personalized message, is as a revenue generator. At the Environmental Matters Committee hearing for HB 697, it was projected that should the bill become law, sales of vanity tags would rise by $84,000 per year.

Donna Beth Joy Shapiro, Baltimore

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