Off-colour vanity plates amusing — and repulsing — Quebecers

When the province belatedly started allowing Quebecers to purchase vanity licence plates this summer, a self-professed jokester from Baie-Comeau decided he wanted to test the system.

Sylvain Poirier submitted several common Québécois cusswords — which don't really need to be repeated here — to see what kinds of phrases Quebec's auto insurance board would and wouldn't accept.

After several tries, Poirier, a 46-year-old plumber, had two of his submissions okayed — "PENIS" and "ANUS".

Reaction to his attempts at testing the limits has been mixed on social media, but Poirier himself told the Journal de Montréal he was surprised that the SAAQ approved those two.

An SAAQ spokesperson told the paper that while plates which "express ideas which express ideas that are obscene, scandalous or of a sexual nature" are forbidden, "PENIS" and "ANUS" are okay, because they are legitimate biological terms.

A Quebec-based humor website complied several other off-colour vanity plates which managed to get past the SAAQ's censors.

The board says anyone who finds a vanity plate offensive is invited to file a complaint, and suggested it could withdraw some of the more colourful ones based on those complaints.