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While vanity plates are perfectly legal and can be a great way for a person to stand out or express a sentiment that they feel strongly about, they may also have the unintended consequence of drawing negative attention to the person's car. According to the NY Post, a number of New Yorkers with attention-seeking personalized plates were on the receiving end of a large amount of tickets last year.

In 2015, 115,477 parking summonses were issued to vehicles with vanity plates. While some cars were ticketed as many as 36 times, the winner was a white 2012 Range Rover that received a whopping 59 tickets in one year. However, despite that large number of tickets, the causation was not immediately clear. There is perhaps no way to determine whether the vanity plates angered traffic agents and caused them to issue excessive tickets to the vehicles, or whether the type of people who purchase vanity plates are more prone to breaking the law.

In the case of a Washington, D.C. man, his vanity plate attracted attention from the law in a way he probably never saw coming, reports NBC News. The man thought that having a plate that reads “NO-TAGS” was simply an ironic joke. However, he wasn’t left laughing when he was on the receiving end of $20,000 worth of traffic tickets.

Every time a car with no plates is found abandoned in the city, the ticket ends up in his mailbox thanks to his vanity plates. The mistake has impacted his life in such a way that he is required to take time off from work to appear in court and his driving record is so lengthy that renewing his registration and license has been problematic. While Washington, D.C. is taking steps to try to fix the issue for this man, this may be a lesson to other drivers that having an irreverent vanity plate may not be worth it.

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