MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) — A custom license plate has landed an Alabama Santa on the naughty list.
Dave Reid, also known as Santa, was baffled when the license plate he’d displayed on his SUV for six years was suddenly deemed offensive when he tried to renew it this year.
The tag read “HO HO” and was on a specialty wildlife plate featuring a deer. The man who lives Christmas 365 days a year said it appealed to younger children who know him as “HO HO.”
“I have a 1999 4Runner that across the back glass says ‘My other ride is a sleigh’ with a wildlife license plate that says HO HO,” Reid explained. “How offensive is that? People drive by me on the interstate so everyone can wave and take a picture. Who is offended by that? It’s ridiculous.”
The censored Santa is now forced to use a standard tag, but he can’t let the issue go. He feels it’s infringed on his freedom of speech.
“I went on the computer where you can reserve your tags,” Reid explained. “I tried several variations. When you type H-O it locks up. I typed in UA, like the University of Alabama, space H-O-E, and it took it! Essentially, I could be driving around a license plate that says UA HOE, but I can’t have a license plate that says HO HO.”
WSFA-TV says it contacted the Alabama Department of Revenue but never received a formal response. However, Santa received a call late on Monday stating he could come pick up a temporary “Ho Ho” tag on Tuesday and would receive his regular one in 10 to 12 days.
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