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Lawmakers to question how ‘deport’ license plate got OKed

SALT LAKE CITY - Utah lawmakers want to know how a license plate with the phrase “DEPORTM” got approved despite state rules against expressing contempt for any race, religion or political opinion on vanity plates.

While people have the right to freedom of speech, the messages that appear on license plates are different because they must be approved by the state, said Republican Sen. Daniel Thatcher.

“If someone put a bumper sticker on a car, I would shake my head and keep walking,” he said. “The state has approved this, so it’s a state-approved message and that’s wildly inappropriate.”

Lawmakers are expected to question the director of the Division of Motor Vehicles and his boss, the state tax commission director, at a hearing on Wednesday.
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