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Licence confirms Swede's 'star' status

The Local · 5 Mar 2012, 11:36

Published: 05 Mar 2012 11:36 GMT+01:00

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”It was a coincidence that it was a star, really – an angry coincidence,” Rytterbrant told The Local.

Anna Rytterbrant was in need of a new driver’s licence and obtained the correct forms from the Swedish Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen) and filled them in.

But when she got to the little box where she was asked to enter her signature she failed to notice that the instructions stated she needed to keep within the borders.

The forms were consequently sent back to her to amend and she painstakingly filled them out again. Only to be told it still wasn’t good enough.

Rytterbrant decided to call up and confront the agency.

“I had worked myself up to ask them what it was they wanted and I was ready to yell, but that fell flat when the guy told me to write whatever I wanted. ‘A squiggle or a line’ would do,” Rytterbrant said.

Despite these instructions, Rytterbrant didn’t quite believe in the agency’s laissez-faire approach.

“I decided to test them. I had had the forms sent back to me so many times already, one more wouldn’t harm,” she said.

So Rytterbrant entered a small five pointed star instead of her name, in a fashion to look a little like her first initial A. It fitted nicely within the appointed space.

Sending in the forms, she was eager to see what would happen next. And was flabbergasted when her new driver’s licence arrived, bearing the five pointed star as her signature.

According to the agency, there are no rules as to how the signature should look, as long as it fits within the box on the form.

“You should write your signature in the signature-box. That’s all we write,” said Bo Grönkvist at the agency to Sveriges Radio (SR).

“The guy I spoke to said that no one looks at the signature anyway and that our handwriting changes over the course of ten years anyway,” said Rytterbrant.

After seeing her star, many of her friends are now starting to ponder what they might choose.

Rytterbrant said she is very pleased with her star for the moment but not certain she wants to wait another ten years for another stab at a creative new signature.

Story continues below…

“Maybe it will break in a year or so, who knows…,” Rytterbrant told The Local.

Rebecca Martin


The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:00 March 5, 2012 by johan rebel
Swedish bureaucracy gone bonkers!

A signature on a driver's license serves no purpose whatsoever.

Hello, this is the age of biometrics!
12:04 March 5, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
Damn! This means that everybody else who cannot fit their signature into the space, will now be 'signing' with a star instead.

Chaos at Transportstyrelsen...?
12:42 March 5, 2012 by Frobobbles
If you can't fit your signature within a border, logic demands it to be larger than the universe. Right?
12:42 March 5, 2012 by karex
Unbelievable. Does this mean that a signature has no legal weight anymore and we can just scribble anything on a contract and other documents nowadays?
13:10 March 5, 2012 by Mehimself
news worthy, I think not.."my signature is to big for the box".
13:30 March 5, 2012 by Rishonim
Magen David rules ;-)
13:51 March 5, 2012 by rolfkrohna
No wonder they call Sweden "retarded". A guy who is retired has to send in a piece of paper every year to get his pension so they can "verify" his signature. That is technology as it was 6,000 years ago, sending small pieces of papers around the world. Sweden has not developed beyond that. Even China has passed them when it comes to technology. Sweden is just living on old leftovers now.
15:16 March 5, 2012 by Lovelygirl
so interesting things going on in Sweden...
17:07 March 5, 2012 by McChatter
@Rolfkrohna It's not just Sweden. We have the same "trouble" with Holland. We have to prove once a year that we are alive, otherwise they stop our pensions. So that means popping into the Skatteverket office every now and again and getting a declaration from them. However, British banks are the worst. I have had my signature rejected by them several times. Don't think I'll try a star with them!
18:27 March 5, 2012 by spo10
now everyone will start copying her...one way or the other
20:49 March 5, 2012 by TheWatchman

I think that's a pentagram, not a Magen David.

Anyway, this is kind of stupid. How long is her name?
23:25 March 5, 2012 by OUIJA
I have to renew my license quite soon. I wonder: If I draw a medium size phallus, will the drawing be acceptable for the Swedish Transport Agency? I can imagine many of its employees enjoying the symbol. Well, I would not care, as long as I get my license.
00:49 March 6, 2012 by Max Reaver
@McChatter, @rolfkrohna

China is indeed superior on pension verification system. In China the authority asks the elderly people to send in a picture of him/herself holding a newspaper from that day. Very very easy to do since all cellphones have camera installed nowadays. No need to get signature if you can't write consistently, and no need to visit the office.
01:35 March 6, 2012 by rolfkrohna
I agree, China, and many others, are now ahead of Sweden, which is sliding down the slippery slope towards being another U-land. It is even simpler, you could use video VOIP as Skype, voice recognition, and did you hear about the guy who they regularly got those papers from. When he was 110 years old they came to congratulate him for his age, and found his mummified body in the bed. He had bee dead for 30 years and relatives just kept sending in the papers. Have a laugh on Sweden's ancient bureaucracy.
04:31 March 6, 2012 by Kaethar
The signature is there to be able to check for forgery - it doesn't really matter what you write as long as the police can match up your "signature."
11:31 March 6, 2012 by OUIJA
@Kaethar # 15

How will the police "match" up my signature if I signed with the drawing of a phallus? Will they request me to show them my finger? Or will the police show me theirs.
23:23 March 7, 2012 by Mark S.
Be serious. If you draw a phallus for your signature, the police will expect you to draw the same phallus next time you sign. If they think it doesn't match, then they will suspect you of forgery. If somebody else claims to be you and draws the phallus, they may believe it is you.

So take some care when you pick your signature.
11:16 March 9, 2012 by John.Smith

A phallus? They want a signature not a self-portrait.
19:56 March 9, 2012 by OUIJA
There is nothing wrong if a use John as the signature. When they ask me to reproduce my signature, I will show them only the finger and it will really match. Don't you agree Mark S.

Anyhow, the whole story here is quite funny and weird at the same time, and it should win a prize. TL, as usual, is providing us with top class news.
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