Saskatchewan

Put the 'SHAGUAR' in park: SGI adds 175 restricted licence plate slogans to growing list

SGI has made 175 new additions to its list of restricted licence plate names.

SGI list began in 1980 and now has almost 4,000 restricted names

Saskatchewan Government Insurance says it won't approve slogans that the general public may find offensive, suggestive or in poor taste. (Dean Gutheil/CBC)

As the English language continues to evolve, so too do names on personalized licence plates.

Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) has made 175 new additions to its list of restricted licence plate names. Some of the names are ones Saskatchewan drivers have applied for, while others come from different provinces, according to Tyler McMurchy, a spokesperson for the Crown corporation.

"Basically, SGI won't approve slogans that the general public may find offensive, suggestive or not in good taste," said McMurchy.

He said slogans that include slang, advertising or promote risky driving are not allowed, as well as names that have connotations to sex, drugs, alcohol, racism, criminal activity or political overtones.

"We recognize that what's offensive to one person might not necessarily be offensive to other people, so what is offensive is definitely subjective," said McMurchy.

"As a government agency, we do err on the side of caution." 

A few of the rejected licence plate slogans include:

  • SHAGUAR.
  • SKDMARK.
  • SKODENS (a slang term made popular in 2018 used to initiate a fight).
  • GET LIT.
  • MUFFIN TOP.
  • BOOGERZ.
  • REDN3CK.
  • HILLBLLY.
  • PLD OVR.
  • R3DRUM.
  • G3TBNT.
  • STEAK.
  • FULUPOG.
  • STI BAE.
  • NADZ.

List always changing

McMurchy said the list began in 1980 but it's always evolving.

"When I see some of the things that people have tried to put on a licence plate, it is shocking," he said.

"There are some very creative attempts to put some very, I would say, offensive things on a licence plate," McMurchy said.

"In some cases it does boggle the mind why somebody would want to put a particular word on a licence plate and drive around with it."

He said licence plate names are dealt with on a case-by-case basis and don't always stay on the restricted list.

"Language evolves, new words that may not have been offensive in the past would now be considered offensive," he said.

"Conversely, words that may have been broadly associated with an offensive meaning may no longer fit that description."

SGI's website includes a feature that allows drivers to see if a slogan is available and allowed. People can also see how a slogan would look on their licence plate.

About the Author

Cory Coleman is a reporter, web writer and associate producer for CBC Saskatchewan. Have a story idea? Email cory.coleman@cbc.ca

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