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Dr. Bill's Commentaries

Diabetes Mentioned on License Plates   (March 29, 2010)

One of my favorite hobbies when stuck in traffic is looking for personalized license plates on the other cars, then trying to decipher what the weird acronym might spell out. For many years, and in several states, I've signed up for personalized license plates that reads "DM-MD" (Diabetes Mellitus - Medical Doctor, or more simply, Diabetes Doc). Very few people have figured that one out - usually people are reluctant to guess what it means, and instead, I'm asked what it stands for. Interestingly, I recently was given a license plate that almost spelled out the word "sugar": SUG-55R. I spent time today searching Google, but couldn't find any other personalized plates relating to diabetes. But on the other hand, I haven't put photos of my license plates on-line, and I guess that very few people have done so.

You can buy lots of different license plate frames that relate to diabetes:

"Find a cure for diabetes"
"Driving under insulin"
"My daughter has diabetes" (and "My son has diabetes")
"Diabetics are naturally sweet"
"Kiss me, I'm sweet"

Several states have specialized plates mentioning diabetes.

The state of Virginia has a special license plate with the slogan "Drive Out Diabetes." The official state DMV website implies it's not yet available, but I called the JDRF office who is sponsoring the plate, and was advised that over 1000 people have already signed up for this plate.

Mississippi has a program with a special license plate reading "Defeat Diabetes." Their license plate was launched in 2002 for people with diabetes; there is no additional charge for the license plates if the car title is in the name of the driver who has diabetes; otherwise, there is a $31 fee.

Indiana has one; the plate reads "On the road to a cure" and mentions the JDRF. [Editor's Note: And, as of March 2012, Indiana also has one mentioning the ADA's Stop Diabetes campaign]

Tennessee had one in the works that would have mentioned the ADA and its website -- if 1000 people signed up by June, 2008. Sadly, at the official Tennessee website, I can't find that it's available.

And North Carolina is also trying to get one: it will say "Walk to Cure Diabetes" and is sponsored by the JDRF. Their website says "Before the DMV will authorize the first plate to be produced, 300 applications with payment must be received. North Carolina has received 166 applications so far."

I would guess that there are more out there. If you have a license plate (or frame) that relates to diabetes, post a comment and let us know...

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Dr. Bill Quick began writing at HealthCentral's diabetes website in November, 2006. These essays are reproduced at D-is-for-Diabetes with the permission of HealthCentral.

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