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Documents and Handwriting Section

The Document & Handwriting Examination Section was set up as part of the Technical Bureau to help combat the large volume of counterfeit documents in circulation in Ireland. These documents are sometimes used as part of criminal activities. 


Types of documents examined

Passports, ID Cards, Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificates, Driving Licences, Vehicle Licencing Certificates, Insurance Discs, Tax Discs, NCT Discs, Currency, Cheques, Money Orders, Letters, Forms.


Examinations carried out at section

    • Examination and comparison of handwriting to establish authorship

    • Signature examination to determine if a signature is genuine

    • Examination of documents for indentations using the Electrostatic Developing Apparatus (ESDA)

    • Examination of documents to determine if an alteration, addition or obliteration has taken place

    • Ink examination - differentiate between two inks on documents

    • Examination of documents damaged by fire, chemicals, water or shredding

    • Examination of documents to determine if they are genuine or counterfeit

    • Examination of office equipment to determine the type of printer that was used to print a questioned document

    • Examination of printed documents in an attempt to establish how it was produced

    • Examination of ink stamps and ink impressions.


Follow-Up procedure

Once the section carries out examination and has established if a document is altered or is counterfeit, an expert from the section will give evidence in criminal investigations in court.