Playing Tag

By Charles Morgan III


There are many issues facing the United States today. Russia, North Korea, Iran, nuclear proliferation, opiate addiction, Isis, same-sex marriages, marijuana laws, and confusing bathroom issues are all subjects I am prepared to solve.


The issue that is currently paramount in my world is closer to home.


There are 122 different license tags available to motorists in the state of Florida. I have run the math on it and have discovered that this is 121 too many tags.


License tags should serve one purpose. Identification. Law enforcement officers rely on license tags for all kinds of things. They used to be easy to read, and at a quick glance, allowed officers to at least know in which state a vehicle was registered.


Florida offers 46 tags representing charitable organizations. Thirty-six are collegiate. Sixteen are for sports groups. Fourteen are for law enforcement and military. Six are for environmental agencies, and four are for arts and education.


There are tags to “Stop Heart Disease” and for “Hispanic Achievers.” There are tags for “Lauren’s Kids,” “Protect Florida Whales” (we certainly need to, we don’t have many), “A State of Vision,” “Support Home Ownership for All” and “Trees Are Cool”. There are tags for colleges you didn’t even know we had.


There should be only one. And I don’t care what it looks like.


The issue of personalized tags is a little different. They wouldn’t make it too difficult to read if they were on a uniform tag. But the idea of someone spending extra money to let the world know that “IMSEXY” or “IBHOT” or “IMA10” is confounding.


Those determinations are best left to outside observers. In my experience, the drivers of cars with declarations like those are generally neither sexy, hot nor “10s.” And if they’re “HORNY,” there’s probably a reason. It would be more valuable to know what county a vehicle is registered in than to know that it’s owner is “NTOSEX.”


In the old days, tags were numbered in order of a county’s population. It was a great travel game to try to learn the different counties in Alabama or Georgia or Florida.


Now, children have to be distracted to keep them from trying to decipher risqué personalized tags.


There is the argument that the state derives extra monies from the sale of these tags.


Well, if there is one thing this state is good at—through tolls and taxes and fees—it’s figuring out new, arcane ways of raising money. This is only necessary because the state of Florida is equally good at coming up with ridiculous new ways to spend the money, particularly regarding unique ways of luring unsuspecting visitors to the tourist traps available within this peninsula.


I am not, nor have I ever been, a representative of law enforcement agencies of any kind. I have never heard a sheriff’s department request uniformity of license tags. But if was involved in a high-speed chase of a suspected felon, I’d want to know, at a glance, if the license tag was from Florida or Wyoming or Texas. I’m requesting that this issue be dealt with expeditiously.


It will then allow me, in conjunction with Jared Kushner, to move quickly to solve the Palestinian/Israeli conflict in the coming weeks.

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