Utah officials “ban” bawbag from car registration plate


A US state has apparently rejected as “vulgar” a Scottish expat’s bid for the personalised number plate “bawbag”.

Officials in Utah, somehow aware that the word is salty Scottish slang, reportedly told the motorist the proposed plate had been “determined” to breach strict rules on decency.

The western desert state has the highest population of Mormon worshippers in the country but it is not clear if this had anything to do with the decision.

A social media user, “ohmzar”, posted an image of what he claimed was the rejection letter today.

The letter, said to be from The Division of Motor Vehicles at the Utah State Tax Commission to an Edward Hammill, said the plate was illegal under state laws.

The subject line read: “Requested plate: Bawbag”.

Sharee Webb, assistant director of the division, wrote: “The Division of Motoring Vehicles has reviewed your request for the above referenced personalisation plate.

“After an examination of the personalised plate application, it has been determined that your request is denied because the plate you requested has been determined to be vulgar,
derogatory, profane or obscene.

“The Division may not issue any combination of letters, words or numbers with any connotation that is vulgar, derogatory, profane or obscene pursuant to UCA 41-1a-411-(2) and Administrative rule R873-22M-34 (2) (a).”

Although the letter could be a clever hoax, checks show that Sharee Webb does work for the Utah State Tax Commission and that the laws quoted in the letter are accurate.

Reddit user “ohmzar” wrote: “My mate moved to the US and tried to get a custom license plate but got rejected…”

Commenting on the funny number plate rejection, some social media users were confused what the term “Bawbag” meant.

AltMiddle wrote: “WTF is a bawbag? You do realize Utah is different from most other places in the USA?”

ohmzar replied: “A bawbag is a Scottish colloquialism for a scrotum, baw being an accentualised version of ball and bag being well… bag… See also Bawsack.”

saltireblack commented: “What a bunch o’ bawbags!”

Saltire_Blue said: “Blame Trump, he was called it on US TV and now everyone knows it’s meaning. Absolute Bawbag that he is”

According to Utah laws, the number combination of “69” is also prohibited unless it is used in reference to a “vehicle make, model, style, type, or commonly used or readily understood abbreviations of those terms, for example, ’69 CHEV'”.

Nearly half of Utah, known for its politically conservative views, voted for President Donald Trump in last year’s presidential elections with around 60% of the population following the Mormon religion.

However, other states appear to be more relaxed about the rude Scottish phrase, after earlier this year another Scot abroad had his Bawbag registration number accepted the Lone Star State.

The funny plate was spotted on a £25,000 orange Ford Mustang convertible in Austin, Texas.

The term “Bawbag” shot to international fame when it became the informal name of a storm which hit Scotland during December 2011.

“Hurricane Bawbag” caused havoc throughout the British Isles and was the worst storm to hit Scotland in 10 years.

The term featured at the top of the World-wide Twitter trends list for several hours during its peak.