Dave Silverman Will Get His ATHE1ST License Plate After All

Well, that was fast.

Yesterday, American Atheists President Dave Silverman tweeted this:

Terry Firma gave more details on what happened on this site earlier today.

Today, Silverman posted his letter to appeal the decision on AA’s website.

And just moments ago, he tweeted this:

***Update*** (3:38p): American Atheists has released a statement regarding this controversy:

A reporter early Wednesday afternoon contacted Silverman to tell him that his application had been approved, and soon afterward a spokesperson from the Commission called to confirm it.

Once he receives the plates, Silverman plans to bring one with him to American Atheists’ 2014 National Convention in Salt Lake City, where American Atheists members will be able to take pictures with it.

Only at an atheist convention…

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • GubbaBumpkin

    NJ Motor Vehicle Commission Backpedals After Rejecting ‘Atheist’ Vanity Plate For David Silverman

    “The long and short of it is we made a clerical error,” Coffey said,
    adding that Silverman should be receiving a call sometime on Wednesday
    to let him know he is being offered the “Athe1st.”
    The word “Atheist” without the 1 is already taken. Silverman said an
    old New Jersey plate with the word “Atheist” is currently hanging on the
    walls of American Atheists’ headquarters in Cranford, N.J.

  • Jasper

    I’d be curious of the current owner of that plate to come forward… or is it that a plate number is never recycled by the system when someone stops registering it?

  • LesterBallard

    And his vehicle is vandalized in 1, 2, 3 . . .

  • sam

    Dave wanted “Atheist” because “Please key my car” won’t fit on a license plate.

  • Art_Vandelay

    Asked about the employee who told Silverman that the “Athe1st” plate was “offensive,” Coffey said the employee “misunderstood.”

    She misunderstood what? That it’s not okay to be a hyper-privilieged, discriminatory d-bag?

  • jdm8

    The category seems to be: “Objectionable or Need Further Clarification”

    I think that’s a wide-open category, can be a catch-all that means anything.

    It’s possible a clerk didn’t read the entire category description.

  • Gretchen


  • Gretchen

    Clerical error my @$$!!

  • Derrik Pates

    Yes, a “clerical error”. Because the “yes” and “fuck off” keys are SO close together!

  • Monika Jankun-Kelly

    Oops, clerical error, really! We meant to type “the plate you requested is already taken, but here’s an alternate spelling” and it somehow came out as “your lack of Christianity offends us”, no idea how that happened!

    [edit] Meanwhile, Christians put Jesus fish all over their cars and everything else and no one even blinks. It’s only offensive when we express our views.

  • TychaBrahe

    I don’t think plate numbers are ever reused. It would cause havoc with DMV records.

  • Tom

    You’re rather flirting with victim blaming there, sam.

  • jferris

    Yes, he is flirting with victim blaming, but it was really funny. I can’t imaging it being much worse than those folks with the darwin fish on their cars.

  • Jon

    Sad part is sam is right. You know the whole christian love thing.

  • the moother

    Any bets on how long it will take for a good christian to key this vehicle?

  • Kristin

    What’s offensive about this license plate? Everyone knows A is the 1st letter of the alphabet!

  • sam

    Not at all. I’m not implying it’s right, just a reality. When it does happen, it will serve as another excellent example of xian tolerance & brotherly love. Dave can then point out all the Jesus fish cars that go unmolested by us as a point of contrast.

  • Karen Mitchell

    Read the article. It says where the plate with “Atheist” is hanging. I won’t spoil it for you; I’ll let you find it on your own.

  • Chuck Thom

    That wasn’t even close to the question. No, they’re not re-used.

  • Esquilax

    I think if it’s just a keying, he’ll be getting off lucky. Guy better never drive to Texas.

  • EvolutionKills

    Aw man, and I went and sharpened my pitchfork and everything already…

  • Dower_House

    I think David Smalley from Dogma Debate has had ‘atheist’ on his lisence plate (?Texus) for some years – claims that he gets lots of thumbs-up, and as far as I know has not been ‘keyed’ yet.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    If I applied for a license plate that says JOEKLEIN do you think it might be rejected as offensive? Funny how I’ve never seen one.

  • Anymouse

    Jesus protects those who wear the mark of the feesh.

  • Kodie


  • David Richardson

    I had a Darwin fish and Flying Spaghetti Monster emblem on my last car and nobody ever messed with it.

  • Ateu, e dai?

    He can always use the excuse that it´s actually written “a theist”…

  • J.R. Robbins

    I can’t help but think that the fact that this happened is all the fault of one bigoted bureaucrat.