Obtaining Samples

Signature identification requires an adequate quantity of known genuine signatures for comparison with a questioned or disputed signature. Similarly, handwriting identification requires an adequate quantity of known genuine handwriting for comparison with questioned or disputed handwriting.

For information on obtaining signature and handwriting specimens for comparison please refer to the relevant section below Signature Specimens or Handwriting Specimens.

For information on procedures for obtaining known photocopy specimens, please refer to the relevant section below on Photocopy Specimens.

If you need to obtain known genuine handwriting or signatures for comparison with questioned handwriting or signatures, please also refer to the list of Sources of Handwriting and Signatures.

Handwriting sample

Signature Specimens

Signature identification requires an adequate quantity of known genuine signatures for comparison with a questioned or disputed signature. In addition, it is important that these known signatures are of good quality.

Obtaining Signature Specimens for Comparison

It is recommended that the following factors be considered when obtaining known comparison signatures:

  1. Genuine signatures written from around the date of the questioned signature;
  2. Genuine signatures written under the same alleged or known circumstances and written on similar materials; and
  3. Genuine writing written with a similar writing instrument (ball point pen, fountain pen, roller ball pen, pencil, etc.).

Obtaining Samples

Some suggested sources of signature specimens are provided in the Sources of Handwriting and Signatures list, which can be downloaded as a PDF file. Click here to download a copy of this list (pdf).

Questioned signature sample

Handwriting Specimens

Handwriting identification requires an adequate quantity of known genuine handwriting for comparison with questioned or disputed handwriting. In addition, it is important that these known handwritings are of good quality.

Obtaining Handwriting Specimens for Comparison

It is recommended that the following factors be considered when obtaining known comparison handwriting:

  • Genuine handwriting written from around the date of the questioned handwriting.
  • Genuine handwriting written under the same alleged or known circumstances and written on similar materials.
  • Genuine handwriting written with a similar writing instrument (ball point pen, fountain pen, roller ball pen, pencil, etc.).

Obtaining Samples

Some suggested sources of handwriting specimens are provided in the Sources of Handwriting and Signatures list, which can be downloaded as a PDF file. Click here to download a copy of this list (pdf).

Handwriting anatomy

Procedures for Obtaining Known Photocopy Specimens

  • Obtain at least ten specimens with no document on the glass plate, with the cover down;
  • Obtain at least ten specimens with no document on the glass plate, with the cover up;
  • Obtain at least ten specimens with a document on the glass plate, with the cover down;
  • Record on each specimen the date the samples were obtained, the name of the person who directed the specimens, and the conditions under which the specimens were made;
  • Record the make, model, and serial number of the photocopy machine, information about the toner supplies and components, whether the paper supply is sheet or roll fed, and options such as color, reduction, enlargement, zoom, mask, trim, or editor board;
  • Do not store or transport photocopies in plastic envelopes.
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Sources of Handwriting and Signatures

Forensic Document Examiners Pty. Ltd. has prepared this Sources of Handwriting and Signatures list in an attempt to aid any person who is required to obtain known genuine handwriting or signatures for comparison with questioned handwriting or signatures.

Follow this link for a comprehensive list of Sources of Handwriting and Signatures.