back to article Bloke ordered to remove offensive numberplate

A Chesterfield telecoms boss has told the DVLA to naff off after the agency accidentally sold him the entertaining numberplate "BO11 LUX", then ordered him to remove it from his car. Alan Clarke, 49, spunked £399 last November down at the agency's website to grab the 'nads-themed plate, and slapped it on his new Range Rover. …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Wonder if it will flag every police car he passes that has ANPR installed.

    A few weeks of constantly being stopped will get him so annoyed that he either reverts back to his original plates or that he'll end up suing the DVLA.

    Think I'll sit back and wait for the fireworks !

  2. Big Al

    Got him by the BO11 LUX

    If the number has been withdrawn, then his vehicle is unregistered unless he has a second plate somewhere. So he can be as stubborn as he likes, but can still be nicked for it.

    Whether that means he *must* return the old ones for a refund rather than just keeping them and displaying them behind the windscreen is, I guess, a different matter...

    Not fair, but I can't see him winning this one.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Second Plate

      If the mark has been withdrawn then the DVLA will have issued a replacement. He coudln't have a second plate lying around, only one registration mark can be applied to a vehicle. You can have a registration mark on retention - that is to say you own the mark, but it isn't applied to a vehicle - but if you do you have to apply to have it associated with a vehicle. You can't just whip the plates out and stick them on.

  3. Billa Bong

    Who does this guy think will protect him in a lawsuit?

    The DVLA is responsible for the database of number plates and has always reserved the right to withdraw number plates on certain grounds, whether they were bought at a premium or not. Just because I buy a domain name now doesn't mean I won't have it pulled off me by the registry for some legitimate reason (that I agreed to when I bought it - just as this guy would have implicitly signed up to terms and conditions upon purchase of the plate).

    Basically all the DVLA will do is withdraw the number plate and then every single cop that see's this guy will pull him over for having an unregistered car. I can't see how he can win, but I bet a lot of tax money is going to be wasted sorting it out.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Almost Right

      The DVLA actually reserve the right to withdraw a registration mark for any reason they choose. The only condition imposed upon them in a case like this would be that they have to issue a replacement FOC.

      The registration mark is simply a tag that identifies your vehicle, buying a vanity plate does not give you any special rights.

    2. James Micallef Silver badge

      I'm sure the DVLA can win this legally on the small print...

      ...but their justification is absolute BO11LUX.

      A number plate is simply a combination of letters and numbers. If anyone seeing it gets offended, that offence is created only in the 'offended' viewers head. It's their problem not the guy owning the car's

      1. jolly


        ... on that basis I can have a number plate with any words (racist, sexist, etc) and as long as the words have the i's or o's replaced with 1's or 0's I can have whatever plate I like (because the offence taken is all in the offended viewer's head)? OK, whatever.

      2. rcdicky

        This post is complete b0ll0x

        and you know it

        That'd be like swearing at someone or calling them names shouldn't cause offence - They're just a combination of letters someone's decided to sound out - Anyone hearding them and interpreting them as offensive has the issue, not the person saying it... :S

  4. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    So who complained?

    It would be interesting to hear if anyone actually did complain, or whether this is just some civil servant busybody deciding they need to nanny the plate out of existance "for the good of the children". But, if there hasn't been an actual complaint from a member of the public, I'd say let Mr Clarke keep his plate. And if there has been a complaint, I'd stil say let Mr Clarke keep his plate and send the complainer off to have senses of humour and proportion installed.

  5. hplasm
    Thumb Up

    Good for him!

    B011LOX to the DVLA!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Happens in the US

    Remember 10-ish years ago when I was in California of a newstory about someone who'd bought a personalized number plate (In Calif you can pay extra to choose your own set of letters/numbers which don't even have to fit the standard form) which was based around his and his wife's initials and was RAPNJAP .... someone saw this and reported it as using a derogatory racial slur ("jap") which was upheld and as a result all Calif license plates with "JAP" as a substring were immediately revoked.

  7. Bumpy Cat

    The DVLA - shoot first and retract later

    They're a useless shower - when I exchanged my foreign license for UK one, it took three attempts. Each time they retracted the license and sent me a new one, and eventually I've ended up with a provisional. Yep, I'm apparently still a learner after driving for 16 years.

    1. Is it me?


      Just because you hold a licence from another country does not automatically mean it transfers to the UK. This is not unique to the UK. The validity of an overseas licence is accepted for short term visitors, but not for long term residents, you have to pass a test and gain a full licence, so naturally you will get a provisional licence, and if you are driving unaccompanied on it, you are committing an offence. If you had wanted to move to a full licence, then you should have applied before your overseas licence period expired.

      Why should you be an exception. Pretty much every country in the world operates the same system, your national licence is fine for visiting, but move here and you need one of ours, and you need to prove you can drive to our standard.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down


        For Starters he hasn't said where he is from and secondly it can be exchanged for a UK licence depending on country for long term residents.

      2. Turtle_Fan

        Yeah right....

        First of all if we're talking a licence from any of the EEA or "approved countries", 42 countries in total then no you don't. You can happily get a UK licence without having to prove nothing to anyone.

        Oh, and just because you sound so stuck up, here's a tidbit: UK authorities have accepted that possessing a Zimbabwean, Korean or Hong Kong driver's licence is on a par with UK standards. No questions asked. Just exchange them with a UK one.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Genuine Licence?

          Even if the licence comes from one of those approved countries there are times when the DVLA might withdraw a UK licence issued against one. This occurs most commonly when there is doubt over the validity of the licence.

          You send your licence to Swansea and they check it and send out a UK licence pretty quickly. They also send a request to the issuing nation to check the validity of the licence. It can take weeks or months to come back, but if the request comes back negative then the UK licence will be withdrawn, I've heard tell of all sorts of scams from forged licences, to licences that have been withdrawn in the issuing country and of course stolen licences.

          Problems can occur of course when the authorities in the issuing country make mistakes, which is far from unheard of. It could be that the DVLA issued and then withdrew the licence because there was some doubt over the validity of the licence.

          Whe I needed a permit in Malta the DVLA faxed back their response to the query the same day. Some countries are not as helpful. Having said that the fax did have a typo on it so my Maltese ticket had an extra consonant in my surname.

          1. The Indomitable Gall

            Re: Genuine Licence?

            "Whe I needed a permit in Malta the DVLA faxed back their response to the query the same day. Some countries are not as helpful. Having said that the fax did have a typo on it so my Maltese ticket had an extra consonant in my surname."

            Anonymous Choward?

            Anonymous Cowhard?

            Anonymous Cowarde?

            1. mike 32


              'e' is a vowel - Cowharde is NOT a possibility.


      3. Bumpy Cat

        @And ...

        Did you miss the bit where I said three attempts? Because I said it took three attempts.

      4. Burkhard Kloss

        they have standards in blighty?

        ".. and you need to prove you can drive to our standard."

        After twenty years in blighty, I haven't noticed that there are particular driving standards - unless they ban use of the indicator.

        1. Dave 15

          loads of standards....

          You need to

          a) Not use indicators

          b) Ensure the headlights are pointing at on coming drivers eyes - either through lack of adjustment or non-dipping, it doesn't matter which. You can ensure you have one light up and one down if you like, just to ensure you get sports cars and normal cars

          c) Failure to appreciate the inside lane is not the 'slow lane' but is the lane you should be in, this is best demonstrated by doing 65mph in the outside lane of a motorway or dual carriageway despite miles of empty lane on your left.

          d) Failure to notice or obey the giveway line at the bottom of a slip road, best demonstration is to pull out regardless of the swerving and braking you cause, looking over your shoulder and chuckling at the huge pile up or traffic jam you have caused

          e) Habitual blocking of sideroads and junctions when you are in a traffic jam, if you have to wait why should anyone else get on with their journey

          f) Speed - 30mph is clearly the absolute minimum on housing estates, this is indeed the speed to use when entering your driveway, 70mph is more appropriate for actually driving. When out of town of course the hazards are much greater (pedestrians are soft when you run over them, other cars and lorries are not) so your speed should be reduced - when there is a queue on a motorway 55mph is fine, an A road 35mph is fine and a B road 25mph. On now account should you travel fast enough to prevent frustration and anger behind you when out of town, while in town you should drive at whatever speed you can muster to scare pedestrians and cyclists neither of whom pay road tax so neither have a right to use your tarmac

          g) You should be proficient at sticking two fingers up to anyone who claims their driving is even close to the standard of your God like driving technique.

          h) Parking should be done to maximise your personal use of parking spaces, certainly never park in such a way as other people may be able to use the area. Good parking can use 6 car park spaces for one car, and road sides you should be able to use at least 2, preferably 3.

          i) If you are at any time pleasant, thoughtful or considerate you will immediately have your licence revoked, should you exhibit such extremes as smiling you will also be jailed.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        And.... ("Is it me?" total bollocks about foreign licences)

        My partner exchanged her licence for a UK one and I'll assure she didn't need to pass a driving test. Admittedlty this is for an EU country but your posting generalised all foreign countries & has an undertone of nationalist bollocks.

        Given the way the twats drive around the south-east I don't think UK driving skills are something to celebrate. I'm amazed bikers still use the A3/M3/M4/M25.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not immediately obvious

    As far a trying to make up words from car number plates goes that's a pretty bad effort. I wouldn't have given it a second glance I'd seen it on the streets. No matter how many times I look at it I always see Boil Lux so no wonder he's foaming.

  9. Annihilator

    What a character

    I'm sure he's just a joy to work with, no doubt a comedy genius in the office environment.

    It's a shame that personalised plates have to be unique. B377 END would be an ideal plate applicable to anyone that feels the need to buy such a plate.

    1. Shaun 1


      BE11 would work, also

    2. Suburban Inmate

      Could be perfectly innocent

      Could just be someone proud of their hometown.,-2.084613&spn=0.019041,0.038581&sll=52.394982,-2.084484&sspn=0.038077,0.077162&z=15

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. g e

        Bumper stickers


  10. Piro Silver badge

    A great plate..

    .. and a fantastic, British word. We should be proud to say; bollocks!

    1. Walking Turtle
      Thumb Up


      ...Where would any of us be today, had no such beautiful thing(s) ever existed? IMVH&Experienced_O, if Ghawd did not have hizzown yarbles conveniently situated under that fine flowing robe 'Way Back Before the Beginning, they surely would have had to have been invented on-the-spot. (3... 2... 1... Cue Big Bang...)

      Sheer necessity. And that is all. 0{;-)o<

  11. Roger Stenning

    Yet another BA11 SUP...

    Unfortunately, he'll lose if it comes to court, as Justice infamously has no sense of humour.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Human rights case ?

    Article <whatever> about enjoyment of property ? Once "sold" by the DVLA it's his - unless taken away by due process.

    1. ScottAS2

      Corporate rights

      I imagine the lawyers have that one all stitched up in the small print already. "Permanent lease", "remains the property of the DVLA", "can be unilaterally withdrawn at any time", etc. Basically, you're not buying it; just being allowed to use it in limited circumstances.

      So, basically, it works just like a PS3.

    2. Ben Bawden
      Thumb Down

      Due process

      Such as the DVLA withdrawing the registration you mean?

    3. durandal

      What property?

      He's merely paid for the right to have a specific registration mark associated with a specific vehicle.

      The best he can hope for is a refund and a generic registration.

      (I imagine he can do what he likes with the physical plates, except use them on the road)

    4. Lamont Cranston


      He might own the physical plate, but it's now displaying an invalid vehicle registration number.

      Crushing his car, would sort this problem out.

  13. Jeremy Chappell


    If the number has been withdrawn then it isn't a valid plate... So it IS an offence to display it. Why is that hard for BO11 LUX brain to understand?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Brian Griffiths

        Range Rover driver......

        'nuff said

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    What's so offensive about that plate number?

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Icon says it all

    Drive a Range Rover? I sure PEN 15 is for sale at a very low price

    1. Jonathon Green

      Don't bet on it....

      "I sure PEN 15 is for sale at a very low price"

      Not unless Steve Parrish (former motorcycle racer, truck racer, and now commentator) has sold it. - last seen on a BFO Mercedes race transporter truck AFAIR...

      1. Stuart 22

        Pen Spotter

        Spotted on a white Rolls Royce on the North Circ in the early 70s ...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          PEN 15

          Was owned by Fiona Richmond in the 70s. It was all a bit scandalous at the time because she was a soft porn model or sex writer or some such.

          1. Martin

            Fiona Richmond...

            ...actually owned the wonderful FU 2

            She may also have owned PEN15, but I suspect you've just got your numberplates mixed.

    2. Jedit Silver badge

      I'm afraid not

      Many years ago, my mother saw a car with registration PEN 48S and asked who had PEN 1S. She was informed that this plate was not available. A humourless bunch, the DVLA.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        but I'm sure PEN 15 was allowed

        as this link seems to suggest :-

        I vaguely remembering hearing some story in the 80s about a famous 1960's actress who had the above plate on an E-type Jag. Dunno how true that was though.

        So the puritans or just unaware officialdom of the 60s let throught the above plate, and I thought we were meant to be more liberal now....


        I hope he keeps his plate :-D

        1. MrT

          It's for sale right now...

          ... PEN 15, spotted in the Registration Transfers Ltd advert on p253 of July '11 Top Gear magazine.

          ANPR would have fun trying to spot the difference between the '15' and any later '1S' version. DVLA try to make sure there's little chance of almost identically-looking plates, which will be why the '1S' version isn't available.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    BA54ARD does exist and is on the road too...

    1. Jedit Silver badge

      Yes? And? So?

      Hey, you know what else? BR27 GRD is probably on the road too, like many other inoffensive combinations of letters and numbers.

      BA57 ARD almost certainly is *not* on the road, though.

    2. Adrian Tritschler

      Australian motor registries "filter" their plates too

      Although sometimes they accidentally let naughty ones slip through.

      I'm toroughly annoyed that I never managed to get a photo of it, but I walked past a black Celica a few years ago that had the number plate CNT ETR

      1. Anonymous Coward

        The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

        with no numbers ?? are you sure ??

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          With no numbers

          Yes, they are permitted here.

          Makes for some fun making validation rules when character recognition software is used to read the numberplate from an enforcement photo.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Offended? Who?

    "They said it was causing offence"

    ORLY? So, Mr DVLA, how many people exactly had written or phoned to complain?

  18. XMAN

    I can see it from both sides

    I can understand why the guy is annoyed at the DVLA trying to take his plate away. He bought it fair and square.

    But at the end of the day, if the DVLA have the power to revoke a plate then it doesn't seem like he's got any choice but to accept a refund, drive on different plates and if he really thinks he has a case, take it through the courts.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Worth trying to hang on to it

    if he wins, it's worth a fortune (as the one that got away - along with P5 NIS, reputedly).

    Fact remains that anyone who knows the word and can make it out from the plate is unlikely to be offended, shurely? It might be some consolation, for when he loses, that the same kind of people who are be offended by the plate will be offended by the effrontery of someone owning a Range Rover. So, job done.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hate personalised plates...

    I think they're crass, arrogant, tacky and indicate that the driver has more money than sense.

    I hope the filth make his life an absolute misery, and I could only enjoy it more if the plates were attached to a BMW.

    Anon, because I dont wish every crass, arrogant, tacky, BMW driving uber-chav on my case.

    1. Ralthor

      Attitude Adjuster

      With that attitude, and aptitude towards generalisation, Im surprised every body who offends your small mind isnt already banging down your door with a bottle of wine and a bouquet of roses.

      BMW driver not afraid to post his name :D

      p.s. No you cant have my roses.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        With that sort of arrogant attitude

        I'd expect you to be driving an Audi.

        It may be a generalisation, but as a biker, I can assure you that when some idiot decides to change lane without checking his mirrors and blind spot, that the odds are on that he (and it usually is a 'he') is driving a BMW or Audi.

        As for personalised plates, they serve two important purposes:

        1) Removing money from people who don't deserve the amount they own.

        2) Warning other road users to the presence of a hazard.

        1. fixit_f

          I always check my blind spots before I move in....

          But you lot don't help yourselves by illegally creeping up into people's blind spots on an inside lane, and then depending on people to notice you've inserted yourself there. Some people just aren't that observant unfortunately, and people who do lots of miles often develop a lazy "familiarity breeds contempt" attitude to driving.

        2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

          RE: With that sort of arrogant attitude

          Sorry, but even the repmobile drivers are nothing compared to the average owner of a Toyota Pr*ck-to-ar$e. I won't call them "drivers" as they seem to be barely capable of steering in a straight line. Only the other day I followed one along the M4 and he went 40+ miles without leaving the middle-lane, regardless of whether the inside lane was empty, and totally blind when other drivers indicated that they wanted to pull out of the inside lane and the outside lane was empty. True, the latter is just common courtesy, but then I always maintain a good driver is also a courteous one.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      That's why

      I prefer the term 'vanity plates'.

      1. Stuart 22

        And ...

        A tax on stupidity ...

    3. Anonymous Coward

      @AC 11:14 GMT

      If only people gave a damn what you think perhaps you wouldn't feel so inferior and you wouldn't hate the rest of the world so much.

      enjoying other peoples' misery rather negates the effect you are aiming for - it robs you of the moral high ground where you obviously feel you belong.

      this might cheer you up: people who have vanity plates aren't trying to impress you, they are trying to impress each other.

      (FYI I don't have a vanity plate or a BMW)

    4. Peter Storm

      My brother in law has a Range Rover with a personalised plate,

      but then he is an arrogant vacuous prick, so it suits him.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @ AC - I hate personalised plates...

      Indeed, they may or may not have small penis syndrome. But obviously you have............

      Not a crass, arrogant, tacky, BMW driving uber-chav - just someone that believes private plates are ok. Even better if they are proper 'privates' rather than the crap you get these days in the 'modern' format.

      Two that used to do the rounds in this area were 5 EXY and 1 EUK but the 1 EUK had a towbar fitted and the reg was low on the car so it always looked like I FUK. Sometimes the car was driven by a young lady.......... Sometimes an older lady and sometimes by a man!

      Great stuff and pretty bloody harmless......... as is BO11 LUX.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    6. The Indomitable Gall

      Poserest plate ever.

      BMWs are for posers, right?

      4x4s/SUVs are for posers, right?

      Personalised number plates are for posers, right?

      Sotted in Edinburgh:

      BMW X5 with the number plate "X5 CEO".


  21. TeeCee Gold badge

    They'll be changing their name then?

    Everyone knows that "DVLA" means "Bunch of useless cunts" which is, of course, offensive.

  22. Cat Sitting

    Sex Pistols

    Wasn't there a court case against Virgin Records about "Never Mind the Bollocks" which established that bollocks is not an offensive word?

    1. matt 83
      Thumb Up


      that's what I thought

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: not an offensive word

      ISTR the court ruled that bollocks is not an obscene word, which is rather different, and it's really nothing to do with DVLA policy anyway.

  23. Jim Carter

    Maybe he could go for a different plate?

    Say, C1UNG3, or D0BB3R?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    DVLA ...

    ... bunch of W4NKRs

    Irrespective of my stance on prat plates, good on him for telling the DVLA to sling their hooks.

    1. MrT

      Folloed a blue VW Touareg...

      ... about four years ago in Leeds - it was the biggest V10 diesel, with huge alloys and other blingtastic add-ons, with the number "W411 KER" - the driver had added a black-capped screw in the expected place and instead of the "EU" or "UK" blue flash down the left-hand side, it had "YOU" written vertically in white on blue.

      IIRC on the exact model of course as I was laughing so much I nearly had to stop...


  25. Anonymous Coward

    PEN 15

    PEN 15 has been on the road for years too

  26. JeffyPooh

    Try "DVLA SUX"

    as above

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cant think of a title at this moment in time

    If the number plate is still on official car documents then isnt it still legal?

    Just the act of deleting it from the database can't just make it illegal to use the plate.

    What if someone accidently deletes a number plate from the database?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      It's not a case of deleting it from the database. It's a case of the DVLA issuing a notice of withdrawal to the registered keeper. The registered keeper then has so many days to respond, including returning the V5c document.

      Failure to respond and return the document is an offence.

      IIRC you don't actually own the V5c or the registration mark. The V5c remains the property of the DVLA and as for the mark you purchase the right to use it subject to various conditions.

      Watch out for letting the mark lapse as well. Apparently the DVLA can withdraw any mark if the vehicle bearing it does not have current VED or SORN. If you fancy a nice valuable plate such as A1 you can apply to the DVLA to buy it and if the vehicle bearing it is not currently under VED or SORN they can withdraw the mark and sell it on to you. Before there was SORN it was just a case of the VED being lapsed. I did hear that this almost happened to the plate A1 once when somebody at Dunlop, who owned it at the time, forgot to get a new tax disc.

  28. Peter Storm


    "Everyone just bursts out laughing when they see it"

    I suspect they're not laughing at your numberplate mate!

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Vanity Plates

        Quite. Only cocks have vanity plates. You have to be a total and utter cock to have a supposedly humourous vanity plate.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    Daddy or Chips.....

    Difficult one.... torn....

    a) folk who feel the need for personalised plates really deserve no sympathy, more money than, but hey it's theirs and their choice.

    b) DVLA, a private company "We make no mistakes" Capita, harrasing the public, no accountability, no recourse, hound the crap out of you, seem to get to make up laws outwith the the democratic process, But then Capita's CE is a member of the Illuminati puppeteering this government :-)

    He's fucked !!!

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  30. Juillen 1


    Odds on, you can take offense at almost anything. There should be a fair balance between "grow up and get a sense of humour" and "offensive".

    If someone wants to make a bit of an ass of themselves by a humourous numberplate, then fine.. We just need a bit of common sense.

    If it's a word that's ever appeared in a song title/band name, and been allowed to be published to the world though the mainstream media without being permanently banned as offensive, then surely the word isn't offensive. Same with being broadcast on TV before "the watershed".

    There's an excellent one in my area of the world "H1 2 LAY". Gives me a smirk every time, and brightens up the day.

    C'mon DVLA. Grow a pair, and a sense of humour.

    1. phear46

      title goes here.

      What does H1 2 LAY even spell? I can't work it out. I'm probably being really dumb here.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      DVLA are picky

      I wrote to them to complain about Fiat 500's, to me they look like a mangled cancerous testicle. I find it highly offensive that such a likeness could be allowed on our roads, especially as there's normally a tit behind the wheel.

      They didn't seem to take the complaint seriously though

  31. Is it me?

    The thing I object to is...

    That the DVLA thinks I will be offended by a number plate, don't care what it is, this one made me laugh, hardly offensive, perhaps the DVLA should take the approach that if a substantial number of people complain they will withdraw a plate, but otherwise, so what. Those few combinations that result in a really offensive word are not that hard to spot, and if anyone was daft enough to put it on their car, it would say more about them than anything else.

    I suspect there are very few numbers that would really cause offence, and words that cause offence permanently are few and well known, most vary over time, has Bollocks ever been offensive, don't think so. I'd love to see the DVLA stand up in court and prove it is an offensive word.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Getting one past the authorities? Never !

    How could anyone possibly slip one past the authorities....


    1. Matthew 3

      RE: Getting one past the authorities? Never !

      I think the aircraft registered 'G-SPOT' is the better one.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        .. but half the population can't find it! ;o)

  33. ehoffman

    I don't get it...

    Sorry for being stupid, but I don't get it... What does BO11 LUX mean? Boil Lux? Boll lux? Ball lux? What's about it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      just in case you're serious

      What does "Boll lux" sound a bit like?

      Here's another one to try out "B311 END", not that I'm suggesting it's the one for you ;-)

  34. Juillen 1


    If the Government is so worried about not causing offense, then they'd surely redo the OGC logo (

    Far worse, and more graphical than this number plate..

    Wonder if offense goes into international? Asked a colleague today why he was grinning so much while playing with iSCSI.. Turns out that LUN is cantonese for Penis..

    So next time you see a number plate with LUN on it, complain.. Let's see the recall rate on those!

    1. Steve Coburn


      is also quite offensive in Dutch if I understand correctly.

  35. squilookle

    There used to be one round here

    with C4 OCK.

  36. Anonymous John

    I must be dyslexic

    I read all personalised plates as "FUCKWIT."

    1. Mike Timbers



      You owe me a new laptop. My lunch is now all over it!

      FWIW, the DVLA clearly knew what it said when they sold the plate for £399 but they are entitled to change their minds I suppose. Words do change their meanings over time. It's now OK to sell clothes labelled FCUK but consider how rude it is to call someone a lawyer or worse, a banker!

  37. Nevvyn
    Thumb Up

    Spot On, good luck to him..

    Spot on to him, he should stick to his guns.

    So what if someone is offended by it, it's them that has the sense of humour failure, not the guy with the plate. They should man up and find something important to cry about.

  38. Bilgepipe

    Ooooh, a private plate Range Rover... * yawn*

    ... "Everyone just bursts out laughing when they see it and it's unique."

    They're all unique, genius - that's kind of the point.

    1. Stuart Gepp

      Reminds me of a Murray Walker/James Hunt exchange

      Murray: Here comes the Honda. This car is absolutely unique!

      Hunt: Except for the one directly behind it

      Number plates still come in pairs, right?

      PS Yes I know the front one has a white background and the rear one is yellow, but it still reminded me of dear old Murray.

  39. JayB

    Regardless of your opinions on personalised plates..

    How can any of the comments here ACTUALLY support the DV-Capita owns your ass-LA??

    Fact - DVLA sold a product valued at 400 nicker.

    Fact - Consumer buys product

    Fact - DVLA then criminalise product

    Fact - DVLA attempt to recompense Consumer with something valued at the sunny side of sweet FA.

    ... and you people think that is fine? If they made a mistake and said "look, sorry sir, that should never have been sold, here's your money back" I sort of get it, but at no time does it seem they did. The practice you cretins are advocating here is downright bloody criminal. It's called theft ffs!

    If you still think it is fine, then please contact me, I have a pen here that allows intergalactic travel, yours for a cool grand. Should it fail in that I'll happily replace it with a BIC I picked up at TescTroseBury's for 20p.

    1. craigj
      Thumb Down


      I guess you didnt read the part that said "He would receive a refund for the plate."?

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  42. Ben Bawden

    Instead of the cost of a personalised numberplate

    I just changed my name by deed poll to WJ58 JXE

  43. paulc
    IT Angle

    HOT 69....

    me dad used to own it... sold the reg on for £7000 way back in early 80's to some yuppie from the city...

    anyway... the cops should be pulling him over for illegally spaced digits on his plate... the 11 is too close to the BO... they get far more brownie points for that...

    "Vehicle registration numbers must be correctly displayed on your vehicle number plate. It is an offence to rearrange them to make them look like names or words or to alter them in any manner that makes the vehicle registration number difficult to read or identify."

    "What could happen if you display incorrect number plates:

    The police can issue fixed penalty fines for illegally displayed number plates. Offenders could face a maximum fine of £1,000 and in some cases the number plate may be withdrawn."

    it doesn't help though that the example plate they show doesn't actually comply with the spacing requirements...

  44. Anonymous Coward

    The guy said

    "and it's unique"

    Duh, that's the idea: every single registration number is unique. So is mine, and it cost me nothing.

  45. Ian Baker

    I remember, years ago...

    ...seeing the plate O BO110X on a Lotus Esprit. Does that set a precedent?

  46. Teacish


    He could claim against on the same basis as the Sex Pistols (not sure who said it earlier but well put). Bollocks is used as a term to describe a priest or in place of the word "nonsense" in old english and was therefore deemed by a court of law to be acceptable and not obscene allowing Virgin records to display the Never Mind the Bollocks album in shop windows.

  47. Richard Jukes


    The chap will indeed have more luck demonstrating that bollocks is not an offensive word, there is indeed precedent in the Virgin case. My memory seems to tell me that Branson got an English Professor in to explain to court that the word bollocks traditionally used to refer to priests whom liked to talk a bit too much in sermon. Upon the judge quering whether this would be offensive to priests the English Professor proceeded to show the court his dog collar...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      ...the DVLA have the right to withdraw any registration mark they choose for any reason they choose (they own them all), so demonstrating to the satisfaction of a court that the word bollocks (or indeed bollux) is not offensive would probably achieve nothing other than run up a large legal bill.

      Realistically I would have thought his only hope would be in proving the system is unfair and illegal.

  48. Steve 6

    Cattle and actresses

    By the same token bullocks must also be offensive, so let's ban them too.

    And what about the ever-lovely Sandra? Would the have her banned too?

  49. anoniemouse1

    Small Minded Idiots

    Good luck to the guy, i think there are too many small minded people around if the number plate BO11 LUX causes offence. After all it is 5 letters & a number its just you can read it as all letters to get a word. Show me one person who says they don't swear & i will show you a liar.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    If I recall....

    ....didn't the Sex Pistols show that the word bollocks was not offensive and it had been in common use for several centuries?

    This chap needs to stand his ground, and check on the case law.

  51. Anonymous Coward

    If you're really bothered...

    It's far cheaper to change your name by deed poll to match your registration plate than it is to change your registration plate to match your name.

    Admittedly you would look a bit of a knob with a name like AB123CDE.

    Oh wait... hang on...

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    He's claiming the mark was advertised on the DVLA website? I doubt it. More likely he typed in the combination of numbers and letters he wanted and an automated system approved it.

    The problem with such an automated system is that it will probably spot such tricks as substituting letters for numbers. 1 for L, 2 for Z, etc. What it won't be so good at is spotting really stupid spellings. The word bollocks could concievably be spelled bollox, but bollux?

    What's the betting he tried BO11LOX first and got it refused?

  53. b166er


    They shouldn't be selling fucking plates in the first place, they should go back in the pot when a vehicle is scrapped and be reallocated when necessary.

    What a cheek to say we'll sell vehicle indices as yet another pathetic money-grab while at the same time maintaining this pious attitude toward language.


    When are we going to grow up and realise, that if someone wants to spend money adorning their vehicle with a profanity, that it's likely the person doing the adorning has greater problems than anyone potentially offended by it?

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I recall many years ago a certain motorcycle and truck racer known for his "sense of humour" used to own the mark PEN15. He got a pull one day for having rounded off the 5 so it more closely resembled the letter S.

    And that tells you an awful lot about his "sense of humour" and indeed the sort of person who would own a "humourous" registration mark. It's obvious to just about any english speaker that the mark PEN15 looks like PENIS, so why would he need to modify the 5? All it got him was a fine.

    Had I been the plod concerned I'd have thanked him for alerting other road users to the fact that there was a complete tool behind the wheel.

    I knew a man who modified his plates so a 4 and 5 looked more like an A and an S. He got pulled and fined twice, once for each plate. Shame they couldn't do him for each letter as well.

  55. Paul Tribe

    Am I the only person...

    ...who finds the "FCUK" logo offensive?

    One number plate or a million T-shirts? hmmm

    1. Grease Monkey Silver badge


      Yes you are. I'm dyslexic and even I don't find it offensive.

  56. asiaseen

    Imperative plate

    For a really stupid vanity plate try this one from Hong Kong

  57. Bradley Hardleigh-Hadderchance

    What a [|_|NT he is for such 'Obscene' behaviour

    "We train young men to drop fire on people. But their commanders won't allow them to write "fuck" on their airplanes because it's obscene!"

  58. ducatis'r us

    ancient history of F***wits

    about 20 years ago there was a Rolls Royce silver Shadow in Cardiff with the number BOI 10X, which i think reads better. Checking on the DVLA site it does not appear to exist anymore however. BTW quite a neat facility for seeing if your old Nissan Primeval is still on the road:

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      Link failure.

      Link works better if you just go to and click on the "Vehicle Enquiry" button.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    One of the points of having a personalised number plate is that you don't advertise the fact you haven't been able to afford a new car this year.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a total dick

    Hope he gets nicked for driving an unregistred vehicle.

    And if required I will complain.

    Where is the DVLA number.........

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "And if required I will complain"

      Awwwww Mummy's little soldier!

  61. Anonymous Coward


  62. nsld

    many moons ago

    A friend of mine enquired about buying J 1 HAD but was declined by the DVLA as it may be offensive.

    1. MrT


      ...F47 WAH

      Currently DVLA have F17 WAH available for £610...

  63. Paul RND*1000

    So did someone really complain?

    Or are DVLA just being typical humourless civil service prats?

    Whatever you may think of this guy because he chose to have a vanity plate attached to an already conspicuous example of crass consumerism, I have a big issue with how much influence whiny complaining tossers get to have over other people's freedom. Even if it is the freedom to be a bit of a git.

  64. Mark Rosher

    sex pistols

    Didn't the sex pistols case prove bollocks was plural for old word priests? Perhaps th plate is reserved for the new plopemobile...

  65. Anonymous Coward

    DVLA are just prats

    A few years ago when number plates were of the form F1 ABC, the DVLA refused to issue any plates in the series G1 AAA to G9 ZZZ, managing to piss off a lot of radio amateurs.

    A few years later, when the current system started, they decided to relent, and allow this series to be sold.

    They still want £400 a plate, even though they will only be of interest to one person, and if you are unfortunate enough to have a Z or one of the other letters which was not permitted back then, but are now, you're still out of luck.

    Like I said, just prats.

  66. Mark Nelson

    So return it and take ROYAL 1

    And then watch the fireworks

    1. Grease Monkey Silver badge


      That's what you are. How could ROYAL 1 possibly be used? It doesn't fit any valid pattern ever used in this country.

  67. MooseNC
    Paris Hilton

    Um, okay...

    Bo Eleven Lux is illegal? What's so wrong with Bo having a luminance of 11 lux? Too dim? Oh, because it LOOKS like something, it's offensive. Well, then the better take off all the 1, 3, 8, 0, B, I, O, and Ps from the plates because the resemble penises, boobs, asses, and other things.

  68. Andy Neale

    He drives a ...

    He drives a Range Rover..therefore, in his mind, he is above the law anyway...

  69. Lamont Cranston

    Is he sure that people aren't just laughing at him

    for driving a Range Rover?

  70. rcdicky

    Can't he just...

    Put the one the DVLA are sending him on and keep the "offensive" one until he's finished arguing with them? Would keep the police off his back

    Or would he have to send the offensive one back?

  71. mike white 1

    I refer my learned Friends

    To the Sex Pistols court case from the 70's where the word "bollocks" was determined in court not to be offensive.

This topic is closed for new posts.