DMV Revokes Personalized License Plate For Being ‘Too Vulgar’

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When the DMV revoked a Delaware women’s personalized license plate for being “too vulgar” and “offensive in nature,” she refused to back down. As a “survivor,” the woman decided to fight back against state bureaucrats, who she claimed were infringing on her rights under the First Amendment.

Kari Overington
Kari Overington (Photo Credit: fcancerde.com)

Kari Overington initially planned to acquire a personalized license plate after her terrifying health scare when she purchased a new vehicle in late 2020. Overington had no idea the phrase she chose would become so divisive. The Delaware woman had recently overcome breast cancer.

That’s why she decided her vanity plate should read “FCANCER,” but she was informed months later that her plate was being canceled. According to The Washington Post, Delaware officials stated the plate was “offensive in nature” and “not representing the State and the Division in a positive manner,” because the first letter on the plate signifies an expletive.

Kari Overington’s personalized license plate (Photo Credit: fcancerde.com)

Overington was perplexed because the plates had been granted and then canceled after the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles was taken over by new management. The “F” in the plate stood for “perceived profanity,” according to Delaware Transportation Secretary Nicole Majeski, according to New York Post.

Overington pointed out that she could be referring to other “F” words, and she also claimed that the DMV had used vulgar innuendos in state-sponsored slogans like “Get your head out of your Apps” and “Oh Cell No.” The breast cancer survivor stated in an email to Majeski: “My vanity plate receives positive feedback everywhere I go, and I have had more than a few deep conversations with complete strangers about my cancer and how cancer has touched their lives because of it.”

Kari Overington
Kari Overington receiving cancer treatment (Credit: Facebook)

Secretary Nicole Majeski responded, noting that DMV employees “approved your vanity plate in error.” A lawyer for state officials responded by stating Overington’s plate was “inadvertently approved” during the pandemic when DMV personnel were “stretched to their breaking point.”

Kari Overington fought back when her efforts to reinstate the vanity plate were unsuccessful. She filed a lawsuit against Delaware Transportation Secretary Nicole Majeski, DMV manager Levi Fisher, and DMV director Jana Simpler, alleging the officials had violated her right to freedom of speech. The state of Delaware replied by requesting that Overington’s lawsuit be dismissed by United States District Court Judge Richard Andrews.

Kari Overington with her fiancé Doug (Credit: Facebook)

Overington, who represented herself in court, was ecstatic when the judge concurred with her and refused to dismiss her case. The suit, according to Judge Andrews, addressed a “significant constitutional issue,” citing a 1988 Supreme Court decision that allowed Americans to challenge free expression encroachment by “unbridled discretion in the hands of a government official.”

Judge Andrews also noted that, while Overington had represented herself well without a lawyer, the constitutional issue in dispute should be decided through a process that includes lawyers on both sides, NBC 10 reported. In a brief telephone interview, Overington said, “I am ready for my day in court!”

Kari Overington
Kari Overington (Credit Facebook)

On a website created by Overington, the cancer survivor offered a backstory on her battle. “I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer on September 21, 2018, and had a bilateral mastectomy on November 7, 2018,” Overington explained. After enduring three years of chemo, radiation, and radical surgery, Overington almost died when she caught the flu. Fortunately, she survived the sickness and was able to resume her therapies.

Despite the backlash against her personalized license plate, the cancer survivor will continue to fight. “I got it as a celebration of my battle,” she said. “And I think it’s important to fight for what you believe in, and I believe in the 1st Amendment.”