Jared Hyams’ signature gives new meaning to the phrase “John Hancock.”
The 33-year-old Australian man first penned his autograph — a cartoon depiction of the male genitalia — when the self-described “skeptic of everything” suspected the folks at the Australian Electoral Commission didn’t actually pay any attention to that type of thing.
“I thought it would be a laugh; they would approve it and next year I would sign something different,” Hyams told The Age. “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?”
And so began a five year battle with state and federal government agencies over the question of what constitutes a legitimate signature. The phallic symbol Mr Hyams illustrated with the finesse of a bored schoolboy was also the catalyst for starting the law degree he is due to complete this year.
Hyams argued that “a signature is comes down to the function, not the actual form. 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.”
After a five year legal battle, Hyams has emerged victorious. He was issued a new drivers license two weeks ago bearing his unique stamp …
… which also adorns his Deakin University student identification …
… and his government issued healthcare card.
Keep fighting the good fight, Jared.