Nonbeliever Shannon Morgan, of Maurice Township, N.J., said that after her custom plate was rejected, she tested "BAPTIST," and the Motor Vehicle Commission's website accepted it.
Now she's filing a First Amendment suit against New Jersey, with representation from Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
A spokesperson for the MVC says the state doesn't discriminate against nonbelievers, citing a case where American Atheists president David Silverman's request for a plate reading ATHE1ST was allowed after a review.
Morgan's lawsuit says the fact that Silverman had to fight to get his plate approved establishes a pattern of rejecting atheist plates in the State, "thereby discriminating against atheist viewpoints and expressing a preference for theism over non-theism."
Her plate wasn't just inadvertently rejected by a computer algorithm, either. A spokesperson for the MVC told NJ.com, "We review every request personally ... and we review them for anything that's offensive of objectionable."