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A Certified Forensic Handwriting Examiner (may also be called a Questioned Document Examiner or Forensic Document Examiner) refers to an individual who has scientifically studied the aspects of many documents to determine authenticity, origin, handwriting, photocopies, inks and papers.  Certification programs usually last at least two years and include extensive reading of related books, hands case studies both current and past, learning to write client reports, training in the use of document related equipment (microscopes, magnification software, light sources, etc.), and instruction in being an expert witness.

Questioned document examination (QDE) is a term for a forensic science discipline pertaining to documents that are potentially disputed in a court of law. Its primary purpose is to provide evidence about a suspicious or questionable document using scientific processes and methods. Evidence might include alterations, the chain of possession, damage to the document, forgery, origin, authenticity, or other questions that come up when a document is challenged in court.

ACFEI (119x120)