Lorne Grabher of Nova Scotia has had his personalized license plate, which reads GRABHER, for 25 years and has no intention of changing it. Even though some people find the plate offensive, Grabher doesn’t want to lose his trademark because it makes him feel like an outsider. When you’ve had your license plate for 25 years, it’s hard to let go. But one Nova Scotian man is fighting for his right to keep his personalized plate after it was deemed inappropriate by officials. Lorne Grabher has been battling with Canada’s Registrar of Motor Vehicles over his Grabher plate, but he refuses to change it because he says it’s his last name. There are two options for a vanity license plate in Nova Scotia: either three numbers and up to seven letters long or four numbers long. The policy states that if a combination could be considered in poor taste, then there must be at least 100 applications before they can be approved.
Lorne Grabher was born in Nova Scotia, Canada to a family of German origin. Like many members of his family, he chose to use his surname as his last name for all purposes – including his car license plate. Despite having had it for 25 years, Lorne has just recently discovered that there are some people who don’t like his license plate because they say it is offensive to women and promotes violence against women. Rather than removing or changing his license plate, Lorne is pushing back against these complaints and defending himself with a lawsuit claiming that it is his right to have whatever license plate he chooses. Nova Scotia’s Department of Transportation is asking a Nova Scotian man to take his offensive license plate off his vehicle because it’s considered racist. This man, whose name has not been released, says he has had his personalized ASK license plate for 25 years. He says that no one has ever taken offense until now. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police consider it offensive but allow him to keep it as long as he doesn’t display it publicly.
The man says he bought his license plate 25 years ago from a private individual, and has driven around with it ever since. It doesn’t appear that he was issued an official citation for having an offensive license plate in Nova Scotia, but he did say some people are trying to get him to change it. That seems like a no-brainer, but sometimes you have to stand up for what you believe in—even if that’s something small and insignificant. Some Americans might say Canadians are too nice and accommodating, so maybe there’s a lesson here about being proud of who you are. You can still be polite and well-mannered while not making any unnecessary concessions or apologies.