When William Sullivan received a letter from the Kansas Department of Revenue this fall telling him he was going to lose his personalized license plate, he was upset.
Sullivan said he has had the same vanity plates since the 1970s in memory of his father. The plate reads SULLY.
"My dad was named Sully and was mayor of Wichita in the '40s, so it's in his honor," he said of his father, Odom Sullivan. "I tried to talk to the legislators but they didn't return my call."
Sullivan is losing his tag because there is at least one Kansan who has held the SULLY tag longer than he has.
A new state law passed earlier this year is eliminating all duplicate vanity plates, starting in 2010.
"They have those little county designators up there, but at 70 miles an hour, you can't really tell which county a tag is from," said Carmen Alldritt, director of vehicles for the Department of Revenue. "Kansas is one of a handful of states that was allowing the capability of multiple registrations of the same vanity plate."
Alldritt said there are around 85,000 vanity tags in Kansas, with around 33,000 duplicates. Letters were sent to every vanity plate holder, informing them whether or not they will get to keep their tag.
In the past, there could be a SULLY tag for each of the 105 Kansas counties, as well as one for cars, trucks and motorcycles in the same county. That would bring the total possible number of duplicates to more than 300, which caused headaches for law enforcement agencies, officials said.
Since he received his letter in October, Sullivan said he has been chasing a phantom via telephone, never reaching anyone who could explain to him why the changes were being made and what he could do in response to those changes.
Read more at Kansas.com