AN AUSTRALIAN MAN has lost a five year legal battle to have a drawing of a penis officially recognised as his signature.
Jared Hyams told the Sydney Morning Herald that the whole thing started as a joke when he scribbled a caricature of a penis in the signature box on a change of address form.
“I thought it would be a laugh; they would approve it and next year I would sign something different,” he said.
“But when I did this signature all of a sudden the shit hit the fan. I was receiving letters and phone calls telling me I couldn’t have it. I thought, that’s interesting, why not?”
His drivers’ licence application was initially rejected and the case was thrown out of court twice. Hyams was told his behaviour bordered on contempt and was accused of wasting the court’s time.
The 33 year old spent the next five years battling with state and federal government agencies as he decided to officially adopt the penis signature and started applying for a passport, drivers’ licence and proof of age card.
His passport application was refused because the Department of Trade and Foreign Affairs said it could “constitute sexual harassment”.
However the penis signature did slip through in a few applications. Two driver’s licences bear the penis doodle, as do his proof of age and health care cards.
The five year signature war spurred Hyams to start a law degree which he is due to complete this year.
“What a signature is comes down to the function, not the actual form,” he said.
“Generally, it’s a person putting a mark on a piece of paper by their own hand. As soon as you start defining what a signature is you run into problems – if it’s meant to be someone’s name how do we define that because most signatures are just illegible scribble.”