MARCELA WORD, CFDE
HANDWRITING & DOCUMENT EXAMINER
What is forensic document
examination? The examination involves the
evaluation and analysis of various types of
questioned documents to detect falsification
of an instrument or document so that it may be
presented as genuine. Possible types of
documents can be, but are not limited to:
||- Charge Slips
||- Tax Returns
||- School Records
||- Financial Documents
||- Anonymous Letters
name a few
work with a Document Examiner
The following are the most frequently
requested situations from clients concerning
documents in question:
- Has the document been forged or
altered, and if so, by a person they
- What steps can I take to prove that
the signature on the document is not mine?
- Did the same person sign all the
- Is the anonymous letter written by
the person I suspect?
- If the document is hand printed can
it be compared to cursive writing?
- Is the examination performed on
original documents only?
- How many sample writings need to be
provided for examination?
The following will help you should
you need the services of a document
- The original should be protected
in an acid-free sleeve.
- Keep the document free of any
marks, writing, or highlighter on the
- Make several copies of the
- When working with copies:
- First generation copies are
- Multi copies of an original will
decrease clarity of the original.
- Facsimiles will further distort
and lessen depth and clarity of the
- Gather known valid
samples for comparison (called standards).
- The known samples should also be
originals, if possible.
- The samples should also be around
the same time period, if at all possible
but no more than one year before the time
period or one year after the time period.
- Obtain like samples, i.e. if it
is a signature, get signatures; if it is
other writing, try to obtain writing that
contains similar letters and/or phrases;
if the questioned writing is printed, the
samples should be printed; if the writing
is in cursive (long hand), the samples
should be in cursive writing.
- Sources of samples could be:
Letters and cards
Having a problem
obtaining known samples, please contact
me for a list of OVER 100
Sources of Handwriting Standards.