Lots of us like to express our individuality - whether it's a unique hairstyle or color, a custom tattoo, or our fashion choices.

Some of us choose to express our individuality with a personalized vanity license plate.

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Unlike your tattoos, clothing or hair - the state of Michigan's in charge when it comes to personalized plates. You're free to be clever, you've just got to keep it between the lines.

First 2013 Cadillac ATS Rolls Off Assembly Line In Lansing
Photo via Getty Images

Guidelines for Picking a Personalized Plate in Michigan

According to michigan.gov, these are the basics for choosing what you'd like on your vanity plate:

  • Spaces are allowed and are counted as characters
  • The letter 'O' is not permitted. The number '0' will be substituted
  • Only letters A-Z and numbers 0-9 are allowed on a personalized plate
  • Symbols such as '! @ # $ % ^ & *' are not allowed on a personalized plate
  • All plates are subject to further department approval

SEE ALSO: What Did Michigan License Plates Look Like the Year You Were Born?

Just because you follow all those rules, that doesn't mean you're in the clear.

color test license plate
Tim Zantop via Facebook

Personalized Plates That Won't Be Approved in Michigan

The state of Michigan has some other ground rules when it comes to personalized plates. They will not approve a "configuration of either letters, numbers or letters and numbers that carries a connotation that is:

  • profane or obscene;
  • a swear word of depicts a swear word;
  • sexually explicit or graphic;
  • excretory-related;
  • used to describe intimate body parts or genitals;
  • used to describe alcohol, alcohol use, drugs, drug culture or drug use;
  • used to describe illegal activities or illegal substances;
  • use to substantially interfere with plate identification for law enforcement purposes;
  • used to disparage or promote or condone hate or violence directed at any type of business, group or persons, a foreign word falling into these categories, or that conflicts with the regular license plate numbering system."

RELATED: Ranking Michigan's License Plates Over the Past 50 Years

Think you might want to get your own personalized Michigan license plate? You can get more information here.

Here are 12 ideas that Michigan motorists tried to get approved for their personalized plates that didn't make the cut.

Personalized Plates You Can't Have in Michigan

Lots of us like to express our individuality, but when it comes to state-issued personalized license plates, there are some restrictions.