Widow Beats DMV to Get Veteran’s Benefits

A determined Billings, Montana widow got an apology and a check from DMV after it wrongly denied her benefits under a disabled veteran’s law. Evelyn Pierce’s husband Billy–a disabled Korean war veteran–died in 1999 and DMV confiscated his disabled veteran’s license plates. Under Montana law at the time, a surviving spouse was not eligible to retain the plates or to have registration fees waived. Montana changed the law in 2003 but DMV persisted in denying Pierce the waiver of the registration fees. After enlisting the aid of State Senator Roger Webb, Pierce was finally given a refund and an apology.

California Driver Loses “NOT SEE” Vanity Plate

“NOT SEE.” Get it? California’s DMV canceled Shawn Calipto’s Nazi-referenced vanity plate, and the San Diego Unified School District laced him on leave from his job as a school bus driver. Apparently the plate itself went unnoticed for some time, but the swastika he displayed above it garnered so much attention that some folks connected the dots and complained.

12 Ways Your Driving Record Can Screw Up Your Life

Did you know your driving record can ding your credit score? Raise your life insurance premiums? Result in your arrest or license suspension?Mark Vallet discusses these and eight other scary prospects in a good post today on the Business Insider blog.

Iraqi Veteran Denied Anti-muslim plate “ICUHAJI”

Iraqi war veteran Sean Bujno had used the license plate “ICUHAJI” for four years before Virginia’s DMV revoked it in 2011. After first winning the case last year by a circuit judge’s decision, Bujno has had his lawsuit twice dismissed by a state court judge and is now considering filing a federal lawsuit. DMV deemed the plate to violate regulations against letter combinations that are “socially, racially, or ethnically offensive or disparaging.” The plate “ICUHAJI” can be interpreted to mean “I see you, Haji” (“Haji” apparently is a common racial slur among U.S. soldiers to describe muslims or arabs). For his part, Bruno, who was honorably discharged in 2009, claims that during his service in Iraq he got to know Muslims and intends the plate to mean “I see you, brother.” Complicating the case somewhat is the fact that “Haji” apparently is also an honorable term used to refer to Muslims who have made the pilgrimage to Mecca. DMV didn’t buy it, noting that Bruno’s father had also attempted to register the plate “HAJIKLR.” Bruno’s attorney offered another explanation, that it was meant as a message of “solidarity” to fellow soldiers.

NH Supreme Court to hear “COPS LIE” license plate case

New Hampshire’s DMV will have to defend itself to the state Supreme Court after denying a man his choice of vanity plate. The man wanted the plate “COPS LIE,” but DMV said it would violate the policy against offending reasonable people. Thanks to autoblog for the tip and graphic.