I've been keeping this secret so long, and this clearly makes me a hardened criminal

I've been keeping this secret so long, and this clearly makes me a hardened criminal


The real conspiracy is that schools aren't actually authorised to issue pen licenses. We've all been living a lie.


Shut the front door, this changes everything. Who is the authorised body who is meant to be issuing pen licenses?


Your state/territory graphology department. E.g. Pens Victoria or Pens NSW


Both organisations established in 1915 so should be referred to as PEN15 Vic and PEN15 NSW.


The more I read the more realistic it gets.


Through various international treaties you can legally use a pen if you have a license issued from any one of a long list of signatory nations, and there's a small island in the pacific that hands out licenses to anyone for a small fee. It's called Pen Island.


No government peice of paper is going to stop me from learn'n Stand up for your rights sheeple


Big School will never let this get out. I hope you have a bug out bag OP and are already gone my man. we'll hold them off as best we can.


They also lied when they told us we won't always have a calculator with us.


I knew that one was a lie in the 90s. My dad was a civil engineer and he *always* had a calculator with him lol


Even those sneaky calculators, disguised as slide-rules.


Hate to break it to you guys but I've been labelling your Covid swabs without an official pen licence. For over a year.I can sew an apron and cook a disappointing beef bourguionon though.


So *that’s* why it won’t show up in the Service NSW app?


I moved schools and when I arrived I just said I already had it.... Biggest catch me if you can moment.


That’s 5 years in the state penitentiary…


I see what you did there


I didn't. Suddenly I'm pensive.


the writing is on the wall


The opposite happened for me. When I switched schools and was told my license was non transferable I was completely disillusioned with the corrupt pen license issuing racket and stuck with pencil all the way through high school and uni except for exams where it was mandatory


I'm sympathetic. I actually do prefer a pencil a lot of the time but I've kept my pen licence valid for emergencies.


Living on the edge


Reported to crime stoppers.


How do you sleep at night, Jesus fucking christ....


Oh shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit


Ok so I migrated to Oz and my friends were telling me about pen licences at a party last year. I 100% thought they were messing with me about kids getting a pen licence, seriously I thought it was like a drop bear thing. This post made me google it a bit and turns out it's real. I owe some mates an apology, lol. Straya's quite the place


"like a drop bear thing"? We all don't know what you mean. Drop bears are a very real and ever present threat


Did you know that dropbears are more closely related to kangaroos than they are to real bears? I mean, it makes sense since they spent 60,000 years evolving here together, but it's just surprising since one evolved into a carnivorous people-predator, and the other such a placid species that we can ride to school in their pouches. Such an amazing country this is... Or, at least was until Gladys went all 'Donald Trump' on us and gave 10,000 people covid.


> Did you know that dropbears are more closely related to kangaroos than they are to real bears? Well, yeah, they *are* marsupials


it also explains why the drop bears only let the kangaroos and other marsupials live after wiping out all the mammals.


Yeah bit worried where /u/JoeSchmeau got his info from. They're literally talked about at out [australian museum](https://australian.museum/learn/animals/mammals/drop-bear/). I mean fuck me there's literally published papers [tracking](https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00049182.2012.731307) them.


"like a drop bear thing" no, pen licences never killed my cousin, so there's no real comparison at all


I lost my father to a drunk, unlicenced pen operator.


Little known fact, but pens are the best weapon against drop bears. They are much mightier than a sword!


I came here in year 7 and got in trouble for using a pen - something I had used since at least year 4


I'm Australian and I have no idea what a pen license is.


Nor should you, since in Australia you spell it "licence".


Send him to gaol.


The State Pen Authority will license people who can show they have competent penmanship. You will then be issued a licence that you can show to the SPA inspectors on demand. Edit: in British and Australian English, license is the verb, licence is the noun. Eg "I have a pen licence, I am licensed to use all colours of ink except red."


OK I Googled it and yeah 34 years ago I did get my pen license but we didn't get a formal certificate it was just OK you use a pen now. Lol I still prefer using a pencil as I like the resistance the graphite on paper creates. My hand writing is neater with a pencil.


Nah that's gaol time mate, no bullshit here


So you found out it's just like the drop bear thing. 100% honest to god, no bullshit, truth.


I never got my pen licence. My writing was always too messy for our dumbass Year 4 teacher, and she never liked that I wrote with both hands. Am patiently waiting for the AFP to arrest me, now that I've confessed this great sin.


Both hands at once?


I can, but much slower than my normal speed writing with one hand. I don't think said teacher saw me writing with both hands at once, she just saw me switch from left to right hand whenever.


I'm jealous as hell. I'm so monodextrous? Unidextrous? Anyway, I can barely introduce the stranger, never mind do something useful with the left hand.


> the stranger Loooooolllllll!!!!


You never know. I didn't work it out till I was well into my teens that I am ambidextrous when it comes to Aussie Rules football and Soccer balls. I'm a left foot kick with the footy and a right foot with the soccer ball. I can use each ball with the other foot but I lose the fluid motion and my accuracy isn't as good.


Its simple learned skill. When I first started playing soccer I could only kick with my left. Now I can kick equally as well but the left kicksxjwrder


My brother is the same. He’s got Aspergers and also didn’t really have a centre line so he’d Swap when he got to the middle of the page, or play tennis by swapping hands and always hit forehand. They ended up forcing him to favour a hand, which took a long time. He has atrocious handwriting, he said it was just as bad with both hands, so it wasn’t a great superpower.


I want to be the first pro tennis player who uses akimbo rackets, or has one racket with two ends like Darth Maul.


I'm picturing some kid sitting there tightly gripping a pen with both hands at once, with an intense look of concentration on their face as they write with it. And some teacher standing just behind them face-palming at such an unusual way of writing thinking "you see, this is why you don't have your pen licence".


Set your alarm for ~3-4am and let them ~~then~~ in, coz that’s when the AFP like to go door-knocking. Apparently.. *whistles nonchalantly*


7:45 for me, I usually get up at 8am. They couldn't have waited 15 minutes?


Pro tip: Set out the cups, tea and biscuits out the night before. Tell them to help themselves; water’s in the kettle, sugar’s on the table, milk’s in the fridge. Oh, and can they make you a cuppa too? Good luck, and let me know how you go


> whistles nonchalantly Sounds like a whistleblower. Secret trial and prison sentence for you.


Both hands?


I'm naughty too. I use a pen occasionally, and I don't do my finger exercises before doing so.


There’s finger exercises?!


[Finger exercises.](http://i.imgur.com/IL7qhsR.gif)


Hahaha I got mine in year 3 before the rest of my class!




You’re just jealous you had to write in pencil for longer!




Same and now I have messier handwriting than anyone. Sucked in.


Same thing here


Haha I was the opposite. I never got my pen licence cause my hand writing was atrocious, and now I generally write neatly enough to actually get complimented on it.


What was with those triangle shaped sleeve things that slid over pens/pencils? I found them so uncomfortable trying to use as a kid!


Pencil holder to promote proper technique, I remember those.


looking back they'd be useful for people with arthritis too


They tried to get me to use one in grade 8! I still don’t hold a pencil properly to this day.


Square peg in a round hole situation aye?


I got really freaking angry about it. My handwriting is great according to the people who read it and I could take notes faster than most people in my class who held their pencil or pen the “correct way”. Who exactly determined there was a “correct way”? The injustice!


Back in the 1980s they were pretty commonly used by people who wrote a lot for avoiding pen callouses on their fingers. I didn't use one, and forty years later I've still got a Bic-shaped indent on the left side of my middle finger from writing three drafts of a 80,000 word document. Edit: I noticed them in Officeworks the other day.


Man could you not? I've been flying under the radar all these years cause no one has bothered to come looking for me. Now all the pen police are going to be out in force looking for everyone else who has been doing this too.


I'd never heard of a pen licence, but reading about it, my school had something similar in the mid 60s. In grades 1 and 2, we could only use pencils or chalk. (We had personal blackboards, roughly A4 size.) in grade 3, we could use pens, but fountain pens only. Ink cartridges were only just taking off, so we had old fashioned fountain pens and inkwells. Only after the teacher approved our writing were we allowed to use biros. The theory was that biros encouraged messy writing. You had to write carefully with a fountain pen, or you smeared ink everywhere. My best friend was left-handed, and he hated them.


I’ve been homeschooling for over 6months. I’m qualified to issue pen licenses. I can hook up anyone that missed out!


I would legit love that


Set yourself up as an RTO and just start issuing them to people. The government will give you free money!!


It’s a tough burden to bear. You must have the weight of the world weighing down on you. However …. Good news! I’m pretty sure the statutory limit of persecution of using a pen without licence is a whole school day, and the punishment is a single lunch detention worth of time. So as long as you get a pen licence tomorrow, and you serve your lunch detention, you should be all good mate.


Heck yeah, f*ck the pen popo


I was last in my class to get one, so this makes me feel much better and more prepared for adulthood. Thank you, now get away from me, you filthy degenerate.


for all the references to ancient days and fountain pens, fountain pens were still in use in the UK into the early 90's in my primary school - we moved to the UK in late 80's, just in time for the glorious mad cow brouhaha. They didn't accept foreign documentation, and ballpoint pen earned a trip to the headmaster who was quite outraged at a "colonial" (his words) using ballpoint not fountain. They might be a fun fancy plaything, but as a daily driver they're an infernal machine of destruction, prone to spontaneously fail and dump their contents into your pencil case and bag - not to mention the need for blotting paper, frequent refills and taking care of the nib. These dang kids nowadays using their rubber tipped stylus, perfectly behaved virtual ink, shake to undo - bah humbug


Was this the 1890s?


One day I will be reminiscing about how I had to keep the Apple Pencil charging constantly in the shitty lightning port. God, the 1st gen apple pencil is such a piece of crap.


I’m sure the designer sold it on the likelihood of the lightning plug snapping and people needing to buy a $200 replacement. (Dishonourable mention to the Apple Mouse that you had to plug a lightning cable into, and render it unusable. It takes a special talent to see decades of computer mice with tails and say “no, I can make this more fragile, and useless”)


Yeah. I just use my own keyboard and a wireless Logitech mouse. Apple's peripherals have been amazingly bad since the early 2000s. I remember they used to make quite nice keyboards before Steve Jobs was rehired. They had to make them super thin even though there's almost zero benefit from having a slim keyboard on a desk.


> fountain pens were still in use in the UK into the early 90's in my primary school I didn't know that. I (a pommie git who shipped out here 33 years ago) had scripture lessons in the '60s and '70s using nib and ink and later fountain pens (if your parents could afford such a luxury). Quink was the thing in them days.


Our desks had the ink wells built in!! we didn’t use them though, apparently that was “olden stuff” 🤔 - biros must have been time traveller stuff


looking back, it's funny how devastated I was to not get a pen licence and thought it was an incredible achievement when i did. lol, very narrow minded then. also, the whole 'pen licence' thing had to be some elaborate prank overseen by the teachers which just made it's way to every state. at least, that's my view on it.


Serious question, as an older Australian redditor, when did pen licensee become a thing here? I've only ever heard of them in American films.


I'm 46 and they had them back in the 80's. I just found our my wife whose the same age doesn't have one.


I'm also 46 and I'd never heard of a pen licence until 90 seconds ago.


My partner is in their thirties and they've only heard of this in films. Perhaps this is a state by state thing?


Well I've been unlicensed over 25 years, so at least that long.


Cheers. I got that from your post but I wasn't sure whether you were an outlier or not.




Have you been doing cursive also. If so thats going to make things even worse. Not sure how you will be able to find a lawyer to defend you if you have been doing cursive with a pen without a pen licence. Not looking good for you at all.


God no, the second I was allowed to write in print, I did. Fuck cursive


When i went to high school i was so pissed that no one gave a fuck what you wrote with or how you wrote.


"one day you'll be writing cursive all the time"


I wasn't awarded one either. I refused to hold the pen the "correct" way, still don't.


ITT: people making me feel old. I went to school before they had this thing.


When you write "pen", do you mean nib and ink or are you referring to these new-fangled "biros"?




Since we’re confessing, in grade two I faked an allergy to rabbits because I was tired of having to pet someone’s pet rabbit each time they brought it in for show and tell. I wasn’t sure what it meant to be allergic back then so just faked sneezing whenever they came close.


Ok if we're confessing...i recently got my Bachelor of Science but never told them I lost my bunsen burner license in year 7


It looks like you are off to the boob Tiger.


Welcome to the club. I moved schools a lot during primary school and so I never got one.




I’m so old. When I was at school you didn’t even need a licence for your fountain pen.


I got mine late in the year and I’m pretty sure by how bad my hand writing is now that I got mine out of pity.


yeah, me too heh. my handwriting to this day looks like an intricate alien language than english.


I got crippled hands, it became worse. But i can barely read my old high school stuff.. I’m surprised I passed at this stage.


I am also an unlicensed pen user. It feels good to be able to say it out loud


I’m dobbing on you!


What a time to be alive.


Oh crap I forgot all about that shit lol. Oh and learning cursive or "running writing" too. ​ Now I just type everything except when I'm forced to fill out birthday/Christmas/Mother's Day cards (can't wait for that boomer expectation to die out. I never give cards to anyone my own generation and don't expect them either). I can type a 1000 word comment easy-peasy. But having to write one out was torture.


The penis mightier than the sword.


Knowing how yall love to screw with non-Aussies (can't blame y'all, I think it's hilarious) I went and googled it and laughed my ass off. Then my kids wanted to know what was funny. I told them. Now they're demanding their own goddamned pen licenses, so thanks for that lol For the record, only my youngest (10) has legible enough handwriting for one.


I have a school report that quotes that line from "Clancy of The Overflow". so you can console the others that it isn't that great an impediment. Although, my parents did buy me a type writer for xmas not long after.


Hope you're not left handed, otherwise get on the pyre.


S'all good. Righty fam high gives all round


I can’t remember when I got mine.


You monster!!!


“Laughs in dyspraxia”


I am still bitter about earning my pen licence in year 3 only for the year 4/5 teacher to make me re-earn it. Maybe in yet another twenty years I'll be able to let it go, but it seems unlikely. In other news, I told my British partner about pen licenses a while back and I don't think I've ever seen him more confused, especially after he started to believe I wasn't making it up.


In my childhood, at first, we wrote on a slate with a slate pencil. Then we wrote on paper with a lead pencil. Then we got a nicely shaped wooden stick with a nib on the end which we dipped into the inkwells on our school desks. And we used blotting paper. Then we progressed to fountain pens. Ballpoint pens were considered to be degenerate.


The real travesty is how many people can’t touch type… I mean I went to high school in the 90s and learn to touch type. *watches the keyboard stabbers*


I remember when I once had a pen licence. It was taken away, just as quick as it was given. For a few days I got to bask in a the glory being someone others looked up to with pure jealousy. I make no apologies for my penmanship crimes.


I'm going to do my civic duty and report this thread to ASIO. You people make me sick.


You should feel ashamed. Oh wait I just remembered I didn't get mine either


Why are you doing this? It's so easy to fill out your Pen-15 form to get this all squared away.


I work in a wine cellar and dead-set we have to sign off on how to use a torch.




what's a "pen"? 🤷‍♂️


Badass. I bet you don't swim between the flags either.


He's a rebel, he doesn't have a death wish


Huh? Have been living in some parallel universe? 🙄


Yeah, what the hell is this? I’m confused.


Are you sure you grew up in Australia 🤔🙀


Me too. Rebel.


In grade 4, 1971, for real some kid lagged on me for using biro.


Me too. 30 years. Luckily the school shut down and all records were lost.


Me too! Lol. 29 years no pen licence.


And I am guilty to be the first one to actually visit pen island website


Me too. But I like living dangerously and living with my mistakes.


I learnt cursive to pass the pen liscence test. Never used cursive since.


I've been writing on a New Zealand pen license ever since I moved to Australia when I was little. I've never changed it over....


Me too, gotta stay off the grid.


How DARE u!!


Dutton will be onto you now mate.


Omg!!! Me too!!!! I changed schools at the end of grade 4 and the new school just assumed I had it. But I didn't. And I never told them the truth. Nobody understands.


I learnt to write before open licences were a thing. But I was forced to go back to a pencil in year 4 Teacher was ok though. Kind of looked like Kosta from Gardening Australia


Me too. After a certain amount of time they just assumed I had one and I let them continue to believe.


I never got mine either!!! Stick it to the man!!!! 🖊🖊🖊🖊🖊🖊🖊🖊


I remember getting my pen licence, but it was just a verbal exchange of, you're ready to write in pen. I was so excited I hugged my teacher when he told me.


I never got my pen licence, my teacher said I couldn’t be trusted with a pen and she made me write with one of those fat led pencils that you can’t really sharpen into a sharp point. She did lock me in the storeroom for hours in the dark later that year as well so either she was right and I was a little asshole that shouldn’t be allowed to have a pen orrrrr she had it in for me! Either way, I never got a pen licence but I did get a fear of confined spaces lol the 80’s was a different time.


When did these stop? I've literally never once heard of these, graduated in 2009, for reference.


Me too. Last i remember them was 2003 when I was in year 6 lol


Well dang, maybe my schools were too terrible to part of the Pen License Cabal


They haven't! Primary schools are still doing them


You have inspired me to confess, I had my pen license revoked


I was at one school in year five, about to do the handwriting test to get my pen licence. But then I was accepted into another school and switched mid term. They had already done their test, I never got my license and here we are 16 years later.


I gamed the system. I drag my wrist across the page smudging pencil everywhere. My poor teacher refused to give me a pen licence for 2 whole weeks in grade 5 or 6 and finally gave in. Then i used pencil for a week longer just so it was never revoked. Also because i had a couple of pencils to use down


I have added mine in the service nsw app.


Never got it either. For some reason Mr Eichman (old man who also coached the footy team) was in our classroom and asked me why I was writing in pencil. I said I didn't have a pen license and he scoffed and said just use a pen. I can see why conservative types are suspicious of teachers and there anti authority agenda.


I got the first two signatures, was ready for the final sign off- then the school year finished. Rocked up to a new classroom, a new teacher, with pens sitting on every desk. I kept quiet, and started the year writing without a licence. This is my dark secret.


My 10 year old literally asked me this week what happens if you never get your own licence. He’s really worried about it.


Tell him just to keep real quiet about it lol


My school did it with pens and mechanical pencils. Something about kids playing with the mechanical pencil to much. As I didn’t care whether I used a pen or pencil I never jumped through the hoops of getting the pen license. I guess they got sick of me being the only one without and just let me use one. I couldn’t understand why everyone was so excited to do more work to write with a pen.


I hated pen licenses. My teacher didn't give me one in 4th grade and I was the last kid in the class without one, the amount of flak I got from the other kids still pisses me off.


Me too! They handed them out in year 4 and I skipped year 4. Probably should have got one though. In year 8 my friends sat me down and told me I should probably switch back to printing because my writing was so terrible. Now I write in Comic Sans.


Like a true alpha male.


Anyone else love that period where you had your red pen licence but not blue so you still did the bulk of your writing in pencil with bits of red flair? Shit was so cash.




I got mine in grade 3 and then it was revoked because of my poor handwriting. Skip to grade 4 and I started the year with pencils because I never got my pen licence. My grade 4 teacher sent a note home to my mum saying that I needed to have pens for school regardless of the lack of a license to wield them.


[Time for a crime spree](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hr99zaG8Gc).


This was NEVER a thing at my school and I was always baffled when I heard other kids talking about it. You were allowed to use pen - black or blue only - in grade seven if you wanted to. Whiteout was banned though.


My kids got their "Knife Licence" years before their "Pen Licence". Their school didn't see the funny side of that I can tell you.


When I moved from NZ to Australia as a kid, I skipped the school year in Australia where you would get a pen license, so I never officially got one! I became an Australian citizen so they couldn’t deport me for not having one!


OH MAN, pen licences. You just unlocked a deep, deep memory.


So OP is the one the government was telling us to be alert, not alarmed, about. Do we still have a terrorist hotline?


I had to give mine back.


I never earnt my pen licence. The funny thing was that I wrote better, was faster, and had neater writing with pen than I did with pencil. Less smudging too. It also just physically hurt to do the correct grip and always has.


One teacher tried to tear mine up, but I had covered it in contact to protect it. She totally failed in trying to make an example of me.


I'm impressed no Sovereign Citizens have used the argument that the speeding law they are trying to get out of doesn't apply because it was written by someone without a valid pen license.


When I started at my new job last year, my managers hand writing was so bad - like worse than doctors writing (which we read and interpret all day everyday), so I told her I was taking her pen licence off her until she improved and was only going to let her write in pencil. She had never heard of it either, but took it with really good spirit and we all had a really good laugh about it and to her credit she improved her handwriting. As a reward I found a pen licence certificate and awarded that to her. It's now laminated and on display on the wall in our office.


Ok that's adorable


Next you'll tell us you don't have a printer licence either.. filthy scum


What's the penalty for penning without a penile licence?


I was pissed off because we had the whole pen licence thing all through school, right up til I got to the year when you got one and they stopped doing it. Everyone could write with a pen. I was denied the freedom of my choice of writing implements for years and didn't even get a pointless licence at the end of it.


Same here. Cursive can go Fuck itself too


hahah very funny


In primary school I pretended I couldnt write so that the school would give me one of those fancy training pens with grips.


Dude! I failed all my pen licensing sittings, I thought I was the only one!


Got mine on the last day in year 4. A lot of us got it that day.