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DMV Sued After It Refuses to Issue 'HIV POS' License Plate

November 06, 1996| Associated Press

OAKLAND — The state Department of Motor Vehicles has been hit with a $5-million discrimination lawsuit for refusing to give a man with AIDS a license plate reading "HIV POS."

"I expected to encounter some bigotry, but I didn't expect it at the state DMV," said Kevin Dimmick, 40, of Kensington, who filed his suit in federal court here.

Dimmick, leader of a support group for HIV-positive heterosexuals, was denied the personalized plate because it "would be offensive to a significant number of Californians and insensitive to many people with HIV," said DMV spokesman Evan Nossoff.

Last year, the department withdrew a plate reading "HIV NEG" after receiving complaints.

"The California license plate is not the place to fight our culture's rhetorical battles," Nossoff said.

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