Expertise in the forensic examination, comparison and analysis of handwriting, forgery/simulations, disguise, typewriters, fonts, photocopies, facsimiles, printing processes, paper, inks, erasures, alterations, obliterations, mechanical devices, physical matches and charred documents.


What is a Forensic Document Examiner?

Forensic Document Examiners conduct examinations on handwriting, typewriting, fonts, photocopies, facsimiles, printing processes, mechanical devices, paper and ink. 

From these examinations, conclusions may be made regarding whether or not the signatures or writing are genuine or non-genuine (forgeries/simulations); possibly identify or eliminate a writer or machine (typewriter, inkjet, laser, facsimile, photocopier, checkwriter); detect alterations, erasures, obliterations, page substitutions or additions; develop and decipher indented writing; identify counterfeits; conduct physical match examinations; analyze and compare mechanical devices (notary seals/stamps); analysis for infra-red reflectance, luminescence or ultra-violet examinations on paper and inks. 

Demonstrative charts and expert testimony may be required as a result of the conclusions from the analysis.

Types of cases submitted for exams.

Any kind of document(s) to include, but are not limited to:

  • Anonymous or Threatening Letters
  • Bills of Sale
  • Checks and/or Credit Card Receipts
  • Computer Generated Documents
  • Contracts
  • Copyright, Patents and Trademarks
  • Counterfeit Documents
  • Deeds, Titles and Real Estate Documents
  • Divorce and Child Custody
  • Forgeries/Simulations
  • Health or Hospice Records
  • Insurance (life, car or rental)
  • Medical and Dental Records
  • Power of Attorney
  • Rental Agreements
  • Suicide and Robbery Notes
  • Summonses or Tickets (Municipal, Traffic, etc.)
  • Tax Documents
  • Trust Documents
  • Will and Estate Documents

Is my expert qualified & properly trained?

The minimum qualifications for a Forensic Document Examiner (FDE) are a Bachelor's Degree, a two/four year apprenticeship with a qualified or board certified examiner with the American Board of Forensic Document Examiners (ABFDE). 

For a full explanation of minimum qualifications, the Standard Guide for Minimum Training Requirements for Forensic Document Examiners can be found at (SWGDOC) under Standards/Published Standards. 

The American Board of Forensic Document Examiners (ABFDE) is the only recognized certifying board who receives sponsorship from:  the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners (ASQDE), the Southwestern Association of Forensic Document Examiners (SWAFDE), the Southeastern Association of Forensic Document Examiners (SAFDE), the Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists (MAFS), American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), Canadian Society of Forensic Science (CSFS), Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists (MAAFS) and the International Association for Identification (IAI)

Many sound alike organizations that exist do not have training programs that meet the minimum training requirements, nor are they sponsored by the above listed forensic organizations.  Please see FAQ's for further information.