Successful HELLCAT custom plate appeal

Discussion in 'SRT Hellcat General Discussions' started by Bananahead, Aug 19, 2015.

  1. Bananahead

    Bananahead Gold Member Hellcat Car Club HCC Charter Member

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    I applied for a custom plate here in Washington. The online system rejected HELLCAT so I applied for HE11CAT instead. I received a phone message two weeks later telling me my application had been turned down by 'management' because it could be offensive to someone. The message informed me that I could give them a call and either try something else or get a full refund.

    I called and talked to a VERY nice person. After hearing what I had to say defending the HE11CAT application she agreed with me and told me I should file an appeal stating what I had told her.

    So, I did a bit more research and filed the appeal below. IT WORKED!! They called several days later, told me they had approved HE11CAT and told me it was the best appeal they had ever read. I didn't get HELLCAT apparently because my original application was for HE11CAT. I decided not to press my luck.

    So, feel free to use the following to get your custom plates!

    The letter was sent (emailed) to the 'Appeal Supervisor'.



    Dear Mr. XXXX,


    I was informed last week that my application for a custom license plate was rejected. The plate I had requested was ‘he11cat’, a compromise since the online system said that ‘hellcat’ was not available. I had a phone conversation with one of your people to discuss the issue, and after talking about my thoughts on the issue, she recommended I challenge the ruling with you.


    I recently purchased a new Dodge Challenger, which is what this custom license plate is for. The particular model is a very limited release that Dodge has named the “Hellcat’. (http://www.drivesrt.com/2015/challenger-srt-hellcat/) They state that their reason for the name was to honor the F6F Hellcat fighter plane the US Navy used in the second half of World War 2. The Hellcat was considered to be one of the finest fighter planes to ever exist and was credited with having a significant impact on the war effort. (F6F Hellcat - History of Grumman's Naval Fighter of WW2)


    I was told that the issue with the plate was that it contains the word ‘Hell’ and the concern is that someone might take offense at the use of the word on a license plate. I suspect that in this day and age there is always someone that will take offense at everything, but I wanted to make my case that the use of the word ‘hellcat’ as a name has become extremely generic in society and is actually unlikely to offend when used as a proper name of something.

    If we look at how the word ‘Hellcat’ has been used as a descriptive name, we find the following examples:

    1. In addition to the Hellcat fighter plane, the US had the M18 Hellcat tank destroyer. Obviously the US military was not concerned with offending anyone in this usage.

    2. The 12th Armored Division was nicknamed The Hellcat Division, Hellcats for short.

    3. Hellcat is the code name of Patsy Walker, a fictional character in various Marvel comic books.

    4. Hellcats was the name of a 2010 TV series starring Alyson Michalika. The TV censors did not consider ‘hellcat’ to be offensive.

    5. ‘The Hellcat’ was the name of a 1928 British silent film. Even in 1928, the word ‘hellcat’ was not considered offensive.

    6. ‘The Hellcats’ was the name of a 1967 outlaw biker film which was featured on the TV series Mystery Science Theater. This is significant as the TV standards for decency in 1967 were extremely rigid. If you recall, Johnny Carson was not able to use the word ‘pregnant’ on TV in the late 60’s, so the fact that the title ‘The Hellcats’ was allowed speaks to the generic and non-offensive usage of the word.

    7. ‘Hellcat’ was another name for a pet cat in a cartoon series Making Friends. Yes, a cartoon!

    8. There is a record company by the name Hellcat records based in California.

    9. There is a wooden roller coaster ride in the Clementon Amusement Park that is called ‘HellCat’. I have included a picture of one of the cars on that ride. (Clementon Park / Splash World - Rides & Attractions)


    There are a number of other uses of the word Hellcat that speak to the fact that it isn’t considered offensive in society:

    1. ‘The Hellcat’ was a nickname given to Mary Todd Lincoln, the wife of Abraham Lincoln.

    2. ‘Hellcat Swamp’ is the name of a section of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in Massachusetts.

    3. ‘Hellcats’ is the name of an American cheerleading comedy-drama television series that ran from 2010-2011 that focused on the lives of American college cheerleaders.

    4. There is a record company based in Los Angeles called ‘Hellcat Records’.

    The use of the word ‘Hell’ as part of a descriptive word extends past just ‘Hellcat’. The US Military currently has an air-to-surface missile officially named the ‘AGM-114 Hellfire’ It is the missile they currently launch from the Predator Drone being used throughout the world. (AGM-114 Hellfire - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

    ‘Hellfire’ is the name of a song in the 1996 Disney film ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’. Even Disney doesn’t consider this offensive. (Hellfire (song) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

    Hellfire: A Journey from Hiroshima is the name of a documentary filmed in 1986.



    Lastly, the actual word ‘Hell’ appears in the King James version of the Bible 54 times (although it is interesting that some scholars believe the use of the word is a mistranslation that started with the King James version, but we digress…)


    I do find it a bit of a disconnect that the State of Washington will legalize the use of Marijuana, thereby offending at least half of the population of the state, but be concerned that the word ‘Hellcat’ might offend someone. Would the custom license plate ‘Hello’ be rejected for the same reason?


    I believe my request for a custom license plate with the term ‘hellcat’ should be reconsidered, given the information I am providing. Hopefully I have made my case that the term ‘hellcat’ has been with us for a long time and is not considered an offensive term by even the strictest filters.


    All of this information can be verified with simple Google searches, by the way.


    The plate request is not made to produce something that is meant in any way to offend, rather to further honor the car named after a significant historical item, the Hellcat fighter plane. The Dodge company obviously did not think the term was going to offend anyone


    Other alternatives that you might find easier to allow would be:


    he11cat (which is what I had actually requested based on the online system rejecting ‘hellcat’)


    h3llcat or h311cat.


    Obviously I would prefer ‘hellcat’.


    My understand is that it takes several actual complaints to cause a custom plate to be pulled after it is allowed. I might suggest this is a nice fallback position you can take as a way to make sure we don’t actually offend anyone.


    I look forward to your reconsideration of my custom license plate application.



    Sincerely,
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2015
    • Winner Winner x 13
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  2. chuck

    chuck Gold Member Hellcat Car Club Gold Supporting Member HCC National President HCC Charter Member

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    Very well done glad you did this and yes your info was great I also had trouble as the sight would kick out some heck I got mine ordered dont remember which one I'm getting my wife did it but I think I had to list 3 but got what I wanted thanks for the post great job and our military did use this on many things as you noted congrats
     
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  3. MaxxMuscle

    MaxxMuscle Gold Member Hellcat Car Club HCC Charter Member

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    I like BH.Might have to try my luck with DMV down here.
     
  4. chuck

    chuck Gold Member Hellcat Car Club Gold Supporting Member HCC National President HCC Charter Member

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    Just go online and they will let you know what you can or cannot get
     
  5. MrBigKid

    MrBigKid BANNED

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    Not in my state.... Have to fill out a form (3 choices) and send it in. (snail mail only)
    idiotic BS.
     
  6. Bananahead

    Bananahead Gold Member Hellcat Car Club HCC Charter Member

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    The online system is what told me HE11CAT was available, they always review and have the ability to decline later, which is what happened to me.
     
  7. chuck

    chuck Gold Member Hellcat Car Club Gold Supporting Member HCC National President HCC Charter Member

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    Thanks I haven't heard anything from them been about 2 weeks since I did this or several days over week just waiting on it to come in thanks for your post
     
  8. solo7777

    solo7777 SRT Terminator Hellcat Car Club Western Regional President HCC Charter Member

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    F'n PC gone Amok, once again. Glad you got it resolved.
    I'm still in shock mine was approved in California, home of the PC.
     
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  9. Zebug

    Zebug Gold Member

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    well done!!!!!!! Very polite and considerate and you pushed for what you wanted. I bow to you oh great one!!!
     
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  10. bugeye1959

    bugeye1959 Hellcat Member

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    Someone in SC must have gotten Hellcat, when I tried it was denied but they did give me Hellkat.
     
  11. MrBigKid

    MrBigKid BANNED

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    Well they are jerking me. I called and confirmed that my names were available. Went to local office to drop off form and check, they refused to take it. Had to mail it in. Then they came back and said taken and oh BTW we need a reciept showing you have paid your taxes from 10/2015 thru 10/2016... What?? I haven't even recieved a bill yet???? Tags don't expire till Oct....
     
  12. chuck

    chuck Gold Member Hellcat Car Club Gold Supporting Member HCC National President HCC Charter Member

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    Lol yes we had to mail in and I'm sure tag will come to you then you go when it's time to get your New Years tag you can change that's what I'm just thinking I mailed mine in but have not recieved it yet been almost 2 weeks hope they send to me I would like to bring in myself some at court houses dont know some info
     
  13. chuck

    chuck Gold Member Hellcat Car Club Gold Supporting Member HCC National President HCC Charter Member

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    I just got my letter today my personal tag was accepted it will be at the court house in about 3 weeks told to bring in my old tag and they would change out my new tag is CAT 707 picking up in sept at court house i wasn't sure when I would get it but has a date in sept to delivery to courthouse. I'm happy took about 2 weeks for confirmation letter
     
  14. Bobby D

    Bobby D Silver Member

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    I'm going through the same thing here in CA. Wrote my letter over a month ago have not got a response back call DMV twice and nobody can give me any answers , I didn't even put Hell in there just ( Cat ) and they said it was sexual overtones so I'm waiting for my appeal .. DMV will drive you to drink geez !!!
     
  15. chuck

    chuck Gold Member Hellcat Car Club Gold Supporting Member HCC National President HCC Charter Member

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    Sorry bro it took about 2 weeks for my letter of approval CAT 707 I'm in Tn pick up at the court house in sept
     

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