After our story on a Washington drug runner with obvious "SMUGGLER" license plates ran on the blog earlier this week, commenter BirdsHit thought the post looked a little funny. It turns out they were on to something and deserve our Comment of the Day:
Sorry, does WA allow 8 character license plates now?
I've never seen more than 7.
I detect a BS in this story.
That BS detector was right on target, though the error wasn't so much intentional as it was following good grammar. The Seattle P-I story spells the subtle-free license plate with two "G"'s, which is what our spell-checker happily went with.
However, after extra research on the Washington State Department of Licensing's website for personalized plates, we have confirmed this spelling turns out to be impossible. Commenter BirdHits is correct in that Washington plates are only limited up to 7 characters. Specifically, the site says:
Your personalized plate can have:
Standard plates: 1-7 characters (letters, numbers, hyphens, or spaces).
Motorcycle and small trailer plates: 1-6 characters (letters, numbers, hyphens, or spaces).
A plate reading "SMUGLER" may be grammatically inaccurate, but apparently still passes DOL's "indecent" test. The Province story shows only one "G," and we are going with that. Though our spell-checker just had a heart attack, the error has been corrected and we've deleted the errant "G" for accuracy's sake.