Jan 20, 2023 - News

Tofu license plate rejected in Texas

Illustration of a Texas vanity license plate with symbols implying a swear word.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Texans, if you're a tofu lover, you might have a tough time proclaiming it on your license plate.

Driving the news: The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles has rejected Houstonian Catie Cryar's pro-vegan "LVTOFU" license plate application, which Cryar says stands for "love tofu."

  • The DMV said it declined the plate "because it contains a common acronym for a vulgar term." Hint: Look at the last couple letters …

How it works: Texas drivers can pay $150 annually for customized license plates, but the DMV can reject them for a number of reasons, including if the message is vulgar, derogatory or indecent, directly or indirectly.

What's happening: Cryar is a media relations manager at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

  • Several members at the animal rights nonprofit submitted a license plate application for "LVTOFU" as part of their campaign to push veganism, Cryar tells Axios.
  • The license plate was approved in Maine, but DMV offices in Colorado, Florida, Tennessee and Virginia rejected the phrase, which as PETA puts it, "proclaim[s] the joy of soy."

What they're saying: "It's funny because they said it was because it's vulgar, and there's nothing vulgar about loving tofu and expressing passion for healthy, delicious vegan food, right?" Cryar says.

What's next: Cryar submitted an appeal stating that the license plate does not contain profanity and is "designed to inspire more people to try tofu."


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