License plate owner pulled a fast one
I thought the state of Hawaii made it clear that you could not have an auto license plate that said something obscene. I frequently see a car in Hawaii Kai with the license plate KSMY-S. Just exactly what are the rules for obscene or not obscene?
Answer: That one slipped through the city's list of prohibited plates.
The supervisor for motor vehicle registration was planning to contact the registered owner and either offer a refund on what was paid for the special plate or have a different one made.
"KSMYAS" or any variation of that "is already in our do-not-issue special license plate database," said Dennis Kamimura, administrator of the city Motor Vehicle & Licensing Division.
He said the combination of letters "KSMYS," "SAYMSK" and "SYMSK" also have been added to the restricted list.
We couldn't see why the second and third versions would be objectionable.
"If you look in the rearview mirror at the front license plate, 'SAYMSK' is the same as 'KSMYAS,'" Kamimura explained. "SYMSK" also is considered objectionable when read backward.
The city director of finance is given authority to recall license plates under Section 249-9.1 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, dealing with "Special number plates."
As we explained previously, by administrative rules of the City and County of Honolulu, the director of finance has final say in determining what is not allowed on a Honolulu license plate ("Kokua Line," Aug. 6, 2006).
Among the reasons set in the rules: A requested plate can be rejected if a combination of letters and/or numerals is misleading, publicly objectionable, sexual or vulgar in nature, relating to excretory functions or intimate body parts, drug-related or are ethnic words or connotations judged to be offensive and disparaging.
Back then, Kamimura explained that the administrative rules say the director of finance "shall apply an objective test of what inference may reasonably be detected. ... The request shall be considered to be the most objectionable connotation that reasonably may be ascribed to it."
To the driver of a Ford SUV who parked in the center lane of Pali Highway, makai-bound at Vineyard Boulevard, at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. We watched him stop at the red light, take out his keys, then run across the street to Central Middle School to buy a barbecue chicken plate. No tail lights on -- he just parked the car at the light. He drove away before the light turned red again, and that man was the only person in his car. -- Awestruck on Vineyard
To Pastor Mitchell Kanekoa, who found my purse, containing money, checks and credit cards, and took it right away to the clerk at Don Quijote's customer service desk. I really do appreciate his thoughtfulness and concern for his fellow man. -- T. Shima
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
. See also: Useful phone numbers