Minnesota DPS apologizes for issuing 'offensive' license plates

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety said Tuesday a license plate that read “FMUSLMS” should never have been issued and the plates would be revoked immediately.

According to Fox 9, a Snapchat photo of the license plate was shared over the weekend on the Facebook page of Somali community activist Haji Yusuf. Yusuf told Fox 9 the photo was taken by a St. Cloud high school student. Fox 9 confirmed the plates were ordered by a man from Foley, northeast of St. Cloud.

Yusuf is a member of Unite Cloud, an advocacy group that seeks to eliminate discrimination against Muslims and other groups.

The Department of Public Safety said the license plates were issued in June 2015 and the custom license plate application was processed in Foley and reviewed by the state’s Driver and Vehicle Services.

“This personalized license plate should never have been issued; it is offensive and distasteful,” DPS said in a statement.  “We are in the process of revoking and taking possession of the plates today. The Department of Public Safety apologizes for this error. The Driver and Vehicle Services Division is reviewing its process for approving personalized license plates today and will immediately provide additional review and oversight of applications.”

Gov. Mark Dayton expressed his displeasure that the plates were allowed.

“I am appalled that this license plate was issued by the State of Minnesota,” he said in a statement. “It is offensive, and the person who requested it should be ashamed. That prejudice has no place in Minnesota.

“I have instructed the Commissioner of Public Safety to retrieve this plate as soon as possible and re-review agency procedures to ensure it does not occur again,” he added.

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