How important is a legible signature?

I have the romantic curse of writing chicken scratch. No one ont even my wife can read what I write when I write long hand. It has been something that has affected my since the 3rd grade. My signature is easy to describe. Take a pen and scratch something on a piece of scrap paper, like you are testing to see if the pen works. When you lift your pen, that it what my sig looks like. So, would you classify this as bad or good, or completely indifferent?

How about you? What is your sig like?

There is a reason I print everything on the board for my students. My handwriting looks as if a battalion of nuns had bashed my knuckles, then had my fingers crushed by rampaging rhinos. The only time I use script anymore is my signature, and if that is legible, it’s a forgery! :smiley:

The most negative effect I get is people make fun of me. “Oh, and we need this written nicely, so Anaamika, you can’t do it.” No more than that.

My signature is basically both my names in really bad cursive, the way they taught you to do it in fourth grade. Most people went on to develop real signatures. I didn’t. It’s so legible that I’m not sure it’s any more secure than your chicken scratches. I’m sure someone could conceivably write my name in cursive and pass it off as my signature. It has no real distinguishing marks at all.

Mine isn’t very legible.

I ask: have you ever had anything in your life, that you’ve signed, challenged or voided or WHATEVER because of a illegible signature?

I haven’t.

No, not even my marriage license or drivers license for that matter.

I did once, sort of. It was so weird. I was working in a retail store where I had to sign things several times a day.

When I first started working there, head office took a sample of my signature so that they would have it on file to be able to authenticate stuff I signed.

I had been working there several months when I got told that I would have to print my name because head office couldn’t read my signature. I argued that that meant anyone could print my name on something and so the actual signing of something became meaningless, but didn’t matter. I thought that was so strange.

My handwriting is horrbile, even more so when I use cursive, and that transfered over to my signature.

I make the first letter of my first name, then some squigles, then the first letter of my last name, and some squigles, then I add a dot somewhere in the middle of the second set of squigles for an ‘i’ that is in there somwhere.

I prefer to think of my signature as “stylized” rather than “illegible.” My cursive handwriting is actually pretty handsome, though it can get a bit scribbly when I’m in a hurry.

My sig is indecipherable, but I’ve tried, (with some success I hope,) to make it distinctively indecipherable. Thus, it does look a little bit like scratching randomly on the paper to see if the pen works, but if you actually tried scratching randomly on the paper, you’d see that it was different from my signature.

Works so far.

Legibility is virtually never an issue with a signature. Consistency, however, can be very important, if said signature is being compared against previous examples.

My wife once had a state income tax return sent back to her for the opposite reason: she never learned script, so prints everything, including her signature. The tax department told her they couldn’t accept a printed name, just a signature. She had to show them her driver’s license.

But illegible isn’t usually an issue: the point of a signature is to match other examples of your signature.

I saw a thing on The Today Show or something. Just to see if anyone was paying attention, she signed all her checks “Minnie Mouse”. Not one bank person noticed.

In a legal deposition
Lawyer: Do you recognise this document?
Me: Yes it has my signature at the bottom.
Lawyer: THAT’S your signature?
Me: yes that is my signature, it is not my name written out.
Lawyer: oh

Mine’s evolved into a meaningless scrawl. However, I’ve challenged people to copy it, and they can’t. I suspect this is partly because it’s done at speed.

I stopped attempting to make a real signature when my bank redesigned its cards so the space has shrunk to a miniscule rectangle, with embossed numbers right up against the bottom part which mean that if your pen strays down there, you look like you can’t write your own name.

Apparently, not very.

I was told by a girl in her early 20’s that they don’t teach kids cursive writing in school any more. I wonder how they learn to sign their names?

Mine is fairly legible, but gets less so every year. I read somewhere that if you sign your name quickly, it is less likely to be forgeable. My mother signs her name so slowly, it looks like she is tracing it - I learned to forge her sig as a kid. :cool:

On Xmas eve of 1972 I was arrested, in southern MS., for DUI. When the bondsman came to spring me I had to sign a “promise to appear” in the presence of a deputy sheriff. The deputy watch me sign and then accused me of trying to pull a fast one. I had to sign it again and make sure it was legible, under threat of being put back in the cell??? The deputy then signed, under both my signutures as a witness. If he had said I had to print my name legible under the sig. I could have understood it, but the implicating was that I was somehow trying to fool him, obviously not an easy thing to do???

If you look at my father’s signature, you can make out the first letter of his first name, and that’s about it. Mine’s slightly better, but not much. On the other hand, I maintain I have a good reason for it! :wink: You see, my freshman year of college, someone walked into the bank with one of my withdrawal slips and took out about $150 over 2 days. The problem is, I only had about $80 in my account. The signature on both withdrawal slips was block-printed. My story is it’s self defense and I’m sticking to it!
Of course, I’m hopelessly neurotic when it comes to paying bills, so the other reason is nervousness, says I as I about to quit the Dope and pay yet another bill!

I read a book years ago by a handwriting/forgery expert. She made the point that sloppy signatures are easier to forge. YMMV.

You can actually make out most of the letters in my name. I’m startled when I go to vote at how much my signature has evolved since I registered 18 years ago.