Forensic Handwriting Identification is the science of determining the authenticity of a specimen of handwriting. Forensic Handwriting Identification is one facet of document examination. In South Africa, the most common enquiry to a document examiner, is to assess the genuineness of signatures on official documents, although other queries include, identifying threatening graffiti on walls, ransom notes etc.
Although the quality of training varies across the world, any good forensic handwriting analyst, will adhere to the protocols as outlined in the ASTM standards in order to provide a credible and quality service.
A comparison cannot be done between only one known and a questioned signature. The forensic handwriting analyst will require collected and or requested signatures and should guide the complainant as to how and where to obtain these.
Although handwriting analysis is a valuable tool in the area of personality profiling, this type of training for handwriting analysis (often referred to as graphology), is very different to forensic handwriting identification and the two areas of study should not be confused.