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Car registration plates that spell out words related to terrorism, religion, s*x or other potentially provocative themes have been banned, it has emerged.

"Every number is checked to ensure it does not offend". The DVLA keeps a list of plates that it has not approved Photo: David Burges

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) keeps a list of plates that it has not approved because of words formed by their sequence of numbers and letters, an MP has found.

Reportedly included on the list is 054MA, which could be seen to resemble the first name of Osama bin Laden, the al-Qa'eda chief. Other terrorism-related banned plates are H057AGE (hostage), MA56ACA (massacre), HE580LA (Hezbollah) and even BU580MB (bus bomb). The DVLA is also thought to prohibit combinations resembling jihad or Hamas.

Also said to be on the banned list are plates whose contents refer to religions or that could be seen to incite racial hatred. Included on these grounds are reportedly M056LEM (Muslim) and others resembling words like Jesus or Koran. GA550VN (gas oven) and G005TEP (goose step), both of which could be seen to have connections with activities by n@zi Germany during the Second World War, are also reported to have been prevented.

The list even spans themes including sexual activity and alcohol, it is claimed, with combinations such as B004ZZY (boozy) and anything containing s*x also prohibited.

A spokesman for the DVLA told The Sun: "Every number is checked to ensure it does not offend".

Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrat transport spokesman, who unearthed the list, told the newspaper: "Some combinations would be deeply offensive. But it's over the top to ban words about booze and s*x. It's a bit 'nanny state'."


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