Bernie L Hart, an atheist from Kentucky is suing the state' transportation secretary Greg Thomas for the right to use a personalised license plate labelled "I'm God".
He said the Kentucky DMV rejected his application to keep the license plate he used for 12 years in Ohio dismissing it as "vulgar and offensive."
Hart has received support in his lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky and Freedom From Religion Foundation who state that government officials should not have the ability to deny personalized plates based on religious or political preferences.
"Under the First Amendment, government officials do not have the authority to censor messages simply because they dislike them," ACLU-KY Legal Director William Sharp said. "And in this instance, personalized license plates are a form of individual speech equally deserving of First Amendment protection." Hart said he didn't encounter problems when registering the plate in Ohio and wants that freedom to be extended to his new state of residence. "I simply want the same opportunity to select a personal message for my licence plate just as any other driver," he said.
Hart who became an atheist aged 15 said no one definition of "God" is more righteous than the other. "Well, there are six definitions of God in the American Heritage Dictionary," he said. "Number five is a very handsome man and my wife says I'm a very handsome man, and nobody argues with my wife."