Questioned Documents

A document is defined as anything upon which a mark is made for the purpose of conveying a message. The examination of questioned documents consists of the analysis and comparison of documentary evidence such as handwriting with known material in order to establish the authenticity of the contested material as well as the detection of alterations. 

The Questioned Document Department has a wide array of equipment including cameras, microscopes, a Video Spectral Comparator (VSC-ink differentiation), and an Electrostatic Detection Apparatus (ESDA- indented writing detection). This department’s examinations are multifaceted; incorporating microscopic examinations with instrumental analyses designed specifically for forensic document problems. Many types of examinations are necessary in order to resolve cases involving forgeries, election fraud, bank robbery notes, suicides, and threats to public officials.

The Questioned Document Department conducts scientific examinations on evidence requiring a determination of authorship and authenticity. The following are examinations provided by the Questioned Document Department:

  • Identification and comparison of handwriting, hand printing, typewriting, check writers, rubber stamps, and various printing and duplicating processes
  • Identification and comparison of inks and paper
  • Detection of alterations and obliterations
  • Restoration of charred, water soaked, and shredded documents
  • Decipherment of indented writing on documents
  • Detection of obliterations or forgery of lottery tickets
  • Detection of counterfeit currency, driver’s licenses, event tickets, etc.

Customer Notices and Forms

2018-02 Questioned Documents Services
Instructions for Handwriting/Hand Printing Standards