Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles

What’s On Your Plate?
See all of our quarterly winners


The BMV still wants to hear from you! If you have a unique personalized license plate, send a photo of you with your personalized license plate and a brief summary of how you chose your plate's message. Email the photo and summary to us and you could be featured on BMV's Facebook page and BMV's official website. You could also win a decorative plate award with the personalization of your choice! Plates must be current and valid. Winners will be selected quarterly.

DOBBY1 - Mike Gauntner 2017 First quarter

Mike’s plate reads “Dobby1” in honor of his four-year-old English Cream Golden Retriever. Mike says “You’ve heard of Air Force One that carries the president? Well here’s Dobby 1, which carries my best buddy to Austintown Township Park for daily walks.”  Mike says he loves dogs and is happy that the Ohio BMV offers plates that benefit animals as well as other worthy causes.

OIHO - Andy Balterman 2016 Fourth quarter

Andy’s special plate reads “OIHO.” When Andy contemplated a plate combination, he first thought of “OHIO” but figured that would probably be taken, so he went with Ohio spelled backwards. Andy says not only do kids love it but, as it has been repeatedly pointed out to him that rear-view-mirror viewers enjoy it too!

GRR 2 GR8 - Cheryl Kocher 2016 Third quarter

Cheryl’s special plate reads “GRR 2 GR8.”  After training dogs for 10 years, she recently started her own business, in which she trains dogs that have aggression issues. She has helped more than 100 dogs in their homes instead of being given back to shelters or euthanized because of their aggressive behavior.

41NORTH - Michael Dunbar 2016 Second quarter

Michael’s special plate reads “41 NORTH.” Michael teaches Geography at Kent State University and chose 41NORTH because in Akron, where he lives, they’re 41 degrees north of the equator.

MIKEYA - Katharine Wells 2016 First quarter

Katherine's special plate reads "MIKEYA" in honor of her late brother Michael who passed away unexpectedly in June 2014. Katherine's husband purchased a Kia Soul for her the same year Michael passed away, and she wanted to honor her brother and her husband's gift for her at the same time. She says the "MIKEYA" translates into My Kia.

AW 1 - Ann Wurster 2015 Fourth quarter

Tom Wurster's father first bought special "AW 1' plates in 1935, and continued buying them through 1981. Since 1982, Tom's wife, Ann, has used "AW 1" on her car.

4MYJCK - Pattie Stechschulte 2015 Third quarter

Pattie's plate reads 4MYJCK. Pattie bought the plate and created the message as a great way to honor and recognize her 16 year old son's brave struggles with autism. Pattie says his severe autism diagnosis never gets him down and thinks her plate is a great way to celebrate him. Pattie says people stop her to say they love her plate to which Pattie is always happy to brag about her awesome kid that is she is so proud of.

LUV ME 2X - Rus Leichtenberger 2015 Second quarter

Rus' personalized plate reads LUV ME 2X. He and his wife Deniece were recently married in 2014. They were high school sweethearts but things didn't work out for them back then and they split up and lost touch completely. Deniece had a 1974 VW Bug at the time which Rus purchased from Deniece's mother while she was off in Army Basic Training.

Fate brought them together after more than 30 years apart and together they purchased another 1974 VW Bug. They feel this is their second chance at love and their second VW Bug.

SURVR2X - Robin Meadows 2015 First quarter

Robin Meadows is this quarter's winner with her personalized plate which reads SURVR2X. Robin is a two time breast cancer survivor. She chose her plate to spread awareness and to show that you can survive breast cancer, even twice. We are happy to report that Robin is now on her 8th year being cancer free!

ST NIK - Richard Gainey 2014 Fourth quarter

"Santa," Richard Gainey, was selected for his personalized plate ST NIK. Gainey, a resident of Ohio for past 26 years, is a Professor of Multimedia Journalism at Ohio Northern University in Ada. He is the past President of the Buckeye Santas, a group of more than 100 "real bearded Santas" in Ohio that meet for "lunch and learning" 10 months out of the year. Richard lives in Ada and makes numerous visits over the Christmas holidays.

VX 944 - Laurel Lewis 2014 Third quarter

In 1957, Laurel's grandmother registered her car in her name. The license plate she was assigned was VX 944. When Laurel's grandmother stopped driving in late 1970, she asked her daughter, Laurel's mother, to please continue to use the plate VX 944. When Laurel's mother stopped driving two years ago, she asked Laurel if she would continue the mother/daughter tradition. Laurel retold the story to her 21 year-old daughter and before she had the chance to finish, her daughter (with tears in her eyes) asked if she too could continue the tradition someday. Every time Laurel sees her plate, she thinks of her mother and grandmother and takes comfort knowing her daughter will feel the same way someday.

POW O LUV - Doug and Julie Menkhaus 2014 Second quarter

In 1985, Julie's aunt purchased a Delorean DMC- 12 just before the Back to Future movie was released. The car received lots of interest as the popularity of the movie continued to rise. Recently, after Julie's aunt passed away, the car was offered to the pair; however, Julie was not thrilled with the idea of another car taking up space in the garage. A few months later, Julie surprised Doug on their anniversary with the Delorean. Julie told Doug it was the "power of love" that brought them together, and the "power of love" that brought the car to their home. After restoration, they decided to acknowledge the Back to the Future trilogy, without going overboard, so they came up with the plate "POW O LUV." The Menkhaus' were recently asked to bring their car to a local High School's Senior Prom which was Back to the Future themed.

IGAVE - Diane Grimes 2014 First quarter

Diane was selected from 25 submissions for her powerful story. Diane's son, Connor was diagnosed at birth with biliary atresia. Diane donated 40% of her liver to her son when he was 2 ½ years old. Diane and her son, who is now 18 years old, have Donate Life plates, Diane with the message "IGAVE" and her son with the message "IRECVD" on his plate.

KBOB - Kim Oxender 2013 Fourth quarter

Kim was selected from 30 submissions for her powerful story. Kim chose the Donate Life plate with her son Kaleb's nickname on it "KBOB." Kaleb was killed in an auto accident in June 2013. Kaleb was an organ donor, and the same day he died someone received Kaleb's eyes, making it possible to see for the very first time! Someone else received one of Kaleb's heart valves and the family recently received a letter from a pro football player, thanking them for Kaleb's gift of donation, because he needed a tissue transplant of his knee and he received Kaleb's.

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