In November 2016, Ben Hart filed a lawsuit after he was denied the personalized license plate. Kentucky Division of Motor Vehicle officials, who have approved certain religious personalized plates, refused Hart’s request, initially calling his “IM GOD” license plate message “obscene or vulgar.” Later, the state said the plate was rejected because it was “not in good taste.” (While residing in Ohio, Hart had a similar license plate seen in the picture.)
Later on the state said the plate “would create the potential of distraction to other drivers and possibly confrontations.”
The lawsuit, filed on Hart’s behalf by FFRF and ACLU of Kentucky, challenged the Transportation Cabinet’s denial of his plate based on statutory viewpoint restrictions that communicate religious, anti-religious or political messages.
“1. The plate shall not have as its primary purpose the promotion of any specific faith, religion, or antireligion; “
Kentucky has allowed plates that read ‘IM4GOD’ and ‘LUVGOD’ .
Ben Hart retired from the Postal Service, and married his middle school crush. As a child he questioned religion and now considers himself an atheist.
You can read the court’s ruling here: