BERKELEY (CBS SF) — A Berkeley woman loves her new car, but has a big problem with her new randomly generated license plates ending in 666.

“I could not believe it,” said Bobbie Larkins, a devout Christian. “It sent a chill through my entire body.”

She was so shocked that she drove with the plates inside her car to request new ones at the DMV.

“666 is symbolic of the devil or the anti-Christ,” Larkins said. “You know, it’s a satanic number.”

A replacement would cost $20, but the DMV later agreed to waive the fee for Larkins.

The DMV told KPIX it gets more complaints about 666 than any other random alphabetic-numeric combination. Still, the DMV says it has no intention of taking 666 out of random circulation.

Last November, a driver spotted a vulgar Vietnamese phrase on a San Jose license plate and reported it to the DMV.

When it comes to personalized license plates, DMV spokesman Jaime Garza said the department gets 500 applications a day from drivers who must explain and justify the meaning of the phrase.

Researchers then check it across 150 languages, using special dictionaries, online translators, and even the White House’s drug lingo database, to weed out out drug and gang related terms or hidden sexual references.

But when they slip through, the department relies on public complaints.

Out of the million personalized license plates on California roads, just two or three are recalled every year.

 

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