No more gambling site confusion: MDOT reclaims expired URL on license plates

Marylanders were confused earlier this month when the website domain on the license plates of about 15% of registered vehicles in the state led computer users to an online gambling and virtual cockfighting website in the Philippines.

The War of 1812 license plates were designed to commemorate the bicentennial of the war in 2007 and the URL used on the plates,, led to the state’s War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission.

Ownership of the domain changed when the commission ended in 2015. The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration recently took action to reclaim the expired domain, said Ashley Millner, deputy director of media relations, in an email to WTOP.

“In partnership with the state Department of Information Technology, the MVA engaged the services of a reputable domain broker and was able to successfully recover the URL earlier this week,” Millner said.

“Going forward, the MVA will maintain the URL, which will redirect visitors to the agency’s homepage,”

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2023 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Emily Venezky

Emily Venezky is a digital writer/editor at WTOP. Emily grew up listening to and reading local news in Los Angeles, and she’s excited to cover stories in her chosen home of the DMV. She recently graduated from The George Washington University, where she studied political science and journalism.

Federal News Network Logo

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up