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Mr. Smiley license plate, 2002

Posted on May 27, 2015 | in Uncategorized | by
The Mr. Smiley license plate unveiled by Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton Dec. 27, 2002 was met with discontent and ridicule for the less than two years it was in service. Drivers found ways to distort Mr. Smiley's visage, including drawing a mustache on it, or covering it with a frowning-face sticker or duct tape. State police said that was OK, as long as the letters and numbers on plates are not obscured. Despite widespread critisim of Mr. Smiley, some groups benefited from his unpopularity. Sales of specialty plates skyrocketed in 2003, even though drivers have to pay more for them. Beginning Jan. 1, 2005, the sunshine plates were replaced by the "Unbridled Spirit" tags currently being used.

The Mr. Smiley license plate, unveiled by Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton on Dec. 27, 2002, was met with discontent and ridicule for the less than two years it was in service. Drivers found ways to distort Mr. Smiley’s visage, including drawing a mustache on it, or covering it with a frowning-face sticker or duct tape. State police said that was OK, as long as the letters and numbers on plates weren’tĀ obscured. Despite widespread criticism of Mr. Smiley, some groups benefited from his unpopularity. Sales of specialty plates skyrocketed in 2003, even though drivers had to pay more for them. Beginning Jan. 1, 2005, the sunshine plates were replaced by the “Unbridled Spirit” tags currently being used. Herald-Leader Archive Photo

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