COLUMBUS, OH- The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles is allowing Ohio motorists to communicate their feelings on their license plates through something you might have seen on the internet or in your e-mail. Marcy Lance, OBMV spokesperson explains, “They’re called emoticons and drivers are going to love them!”
Emoticons are punctuation and letters that when lined up in a certain pattern, can resemble facial expressions. A colon and right parenthesis can make a smiley face :) while a semi-colon and a right parenthesis makes a winking smiling face ;).
Lance calculates that, “…with the addition of sixteen characters, we can add 23,493,332 different license plates to the system. This could bring in an additional $1.5 million per year to the BMV.”
Ohio State Highway Patrol Sergeant Brian Beekey is not as thrilled. “It is very difficult to relay a colon or a semi colon back to HQ. When I am running a plate, I need to know what the letters and numbers are without saying, ‘smiley face’ or ‘disappointed.’ I can't tell the difference between 'flirt' and 'bored!'"
Cheri Bascone, personalized plate owner, was also unhappy, “I waited eighteen years to get the ‘JESUS’ license plate and tomorrow someone will be able to get a ‘JESUS:-P’ tongue sticking out plate? That just ain’t Christian.”
There will be some restrictions to the emoticons. “We will only allow positive expressions,” stressed Marcy Lance. “Sadness, shocked or crying emoticons will not be allowed. We are still up in the air about using asterisks."