His nickname has been Willy for almost his entire life so Willis proudly displayed the plate on his car. Little did he know it might cost him his livelihood.
Most of his customers thought it was cheeky and it made them smile and laugh for more than a year, until one day he had a knock on the door. Eastleigh Borough Council informed the 60-year-old that a complaint had been made as someone had found it offensive.
A spokesperson said that the council’s Enforcement Officer was contacted by a member of the public after they spotted the plate at Southampton Airport and found it to be inappropriate.
The registration number itself is completely legal and was released by the DVLA for cars registered on or after 1st March 2011…we still have several * W11 LLY numbers available for sale. However, the main issue here was that Willis had spaced the number plate incorrectly with a space between the M and W instead of between the 1 and L, like so; M W11LLY, and of course, displaying a number plate incorrectly is illegal (we refer to this as Mis-spaced)
The council informed Willis that the plates could mean that his licence to work wouldn’t be renewed, which of course would mean his career as a private hire driver would cease.
“In the eight years I have been a taxi driver, I have never received a complaint of any kind, but I presume this complaint will now go on my record.”
Emphasising the word ‘Willy’, made his plate stand out more but not everyone saw the funny side. As a self-employed driver for Checkercars, Willis took the advice of the council and corrected the plates promptly. The plate is now displayed correctly on his Ford Mondeo.