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NJ OKs atheist license plate for atheist leader

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August 29, 2013 10:34 AM EST | AP


TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey has approved a request from a national atheist group's president for a license plate with the word atheist after a brief flap.

The Motor Vehicle Commission said Thursday a clerk had wrongly told David Silverman of New Jersey-based American Atheists Inc. he couldn't use the word on his plate.

Spokeswoman Elyse Coffey says the clerk had exceeded her authority.

Silverman says the clerk told him his proposed plate was offensive, which he called "outrageously discriminatory."

Custom plates with language deemed offensive are prohibited. Coffey says it was determined there was "nothing offensive" about it.

Silverman's plate will have the number one in place of the letter "i."

The MVC says "atheist" spelled with an "i" was taken. It's on an old license plate hanging in Silverman's office.