Saturday, July 07, 2007

Badly-Drawn Boy

Cox News's Mexico correspondent has a great run-in with the implacable Mexican bureaucracy:

The passport-sized visa booklet is small, the signature line even smaller and I was slightly rushed as I hunched over it at the immigration office in Mexico City.

The result was a signature with only a slight resemblance to my normal John Hancock, the letters at the end of Schwartz strangely mangled and truncated. But who cared anyways?

Well, the Mexican banking system, that’s who.

A few months later I opened a Mexican bank account and was forced to fill out multiple signature cards. But the signatures had to match the work visa signature EXACTLY. ...

In Mexico, signature cards are scanned, downloaded and called up by tellers when you cash a check. The slightest variation in the signature is cause for the bank to reject the check.

Needless to say, I have written a good number of checks with signatures that don’t match that monstrosity on my work visa. I have had checks rejected throughout Mexico City, leaving a trail of unhappy folks. Every month I write a check for office expenses and every month go through the harrowing experience of trying to mimic that signature. I have had to tear up dozens of checks in the process.

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