A method and apparatus for personal identification employ the combination of a CRT and a light pen for the generation of a signature or other identification indicia by movement of the light pen on the CRT screen. Positional information is captured from the screen by the light pen and is compressed and collected to form a signature or other indicia representation which can be stored and subsequently used as a reference for identification purposes. High resolution means are employed to provide precise positional data. If desired, a visible path may be generated on the CRT screen representing the movement of the light pen as the signature or other indicia is produced. Also, if desired, a signature or other identifying indicia may be produced at a location remote from the CRT on a suitable record medium, such as a one-time carbon, and later traced on the CRT screen by the light pen.