Document Examination

  • Signature Verification
  • Anonymous Letter Evaluation
  • Detection of Document Alterations
  • Computerized Document Evaluation
  • Forgery Investigation
  • Restoration of Erasures and Obliterations
  • Indented Writing Investigation
  • Typewriting Examination / Font Comparison

Requirements for Handwriting or Signature Comparison

Due to a number of internal and external factors, nobody writes exactly the same way twice. It is therefore imperative for the handwriting expert to establish the person’s usual writing habits in order to identify or eliminate that person as the author or signer of a document.

Determining a person’s natural writing style requires a sufficient amount of authentic writing. While each case is different and some examinations require more material, 8-10 comparison signatures are usually sufficient. However, 20 or more exemplar signatures are preferred. Although rare, some cases can be solved with only one or two genuine comparison signatures. The examiner may need to qualify his conclusion, depending on the nature and amount of material available.

We prefer to examine original documents because photocopies do not always accurately reproduce the finer features of handwriting such as pressure patterns, line quality, ink or pen type, etc.

Examination of originals is also sometimes necessary in detecting forgeries accomplished by lifting a genuine signature and copying it onto a new document. However, because originals are not always available, it is common for document examiners to render qualified conclusions based on photocopies. Pictures of handwriting, signatures or documents taken with smart phones, tablets, or other such devices are not acceptable for examination.

A person’s handwriting or printing habits may change over time. Consequently, the known writing and questioned writing should be relatively contemporary. Ideally, both bodies of writing should be written with a year or two of each other.

Apples cannot be compared to oranges. If a signature is in question, known signatures are required for the examination. If printed material is under investigation, hand-printing is necessary for comparison. If handwritten text is being investigated, handwriting (not printing or signatures) will be required.

Often the quantity and quality of material available for examination does not meet the ideal criteria listed above. A forensic document examination can still be performed, but a weaker or qualified opinion may result.

Submission of Material

Material for the examination may be provided via certified mail. When original documentation is not available, color copies may be provided via email in either .jpg or pdf format. When scanning material to be submitted via email, please use a 300dpi scan setting.  If only non-originals are available, they may be scanned in grayscale mode.  When scanning originals, always use color mode.  Please contact us at 808-292-6640 for further instructions regarding submission of material.


Click here for information about document examination fees.