Q: I know what a handwriting expert does, but what does a document examiner do?
A document examiner answers questions relating to the reliability and authenticity of a document which may involve signatures, handwriting in general, or hand printing. Other issues may involve determining how or when a document was prepared, whether the document was altered in any way, or recovery of information from erased or obliterated portions of the document.
Document examiners also compare typewriting or other printed matter and perform ink and paper comparisons. In other words, as the name implies, they examine every part of the entire document as it is relevant to a case.
Law Enforcement crime laboratories often handle problems that are rare in private practice. They may, for example, be asked to decipher a charred or water soaked document, determine if official documents are authentic [passports, postal money orders etc.], or match crime scene evidence such as torn pieces of paper. Expertise in handwriting is only one requirement of the profession.