Vanity plates can be cool, fun to decrypt, annoying or expensive, depending on your perspective. They can be a creative way to show your willingness to pay higher taxes, but take care in making your choice.

One Florida resident's choice of "NOTAG" on her vanity plate has earned her $8,000 in parking tickets. Apparently, "NO TAG" is what gets written on a citation when an illegally parked car has no plate.

Soon after installing her plate, Carol Schroeder received notice of 135 overdue parking tickets worth almost $8,000. The tickets were written for several different makes and models, and some written before her car was even manufactured.

Ha ha, funny little mistake. Right? Not to the city of Jacksonville, which says the owner of the car owes the money and the city's collection agency agrees. Surely someone will come their senses and make the situation right.

A few years ago, a man in Huntsville, Ala. received a notice that he owed $19,000 in overdue parking fees for a city he'd only been to once. His vanity tag, "XXXXXXX" is the exact thing Birmingham, Ala. cops write on citations for cars without plates. One Birmingham official he contacted said not to worry about it because they were broke and couldn't afford to arrest him anyway. That's comforting. We guess.

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