How to Tell If a Doctor's Signature Is Real

Written by michelle zehr
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How to Tell If a Doctor's Signature Is Real
Forging a doctor's signature is a felony. (Dynamic Graphics/Creatas/Getty Images)

With a little practice and a sample of the doctor's actual signature, anyone can learn to forge a doctor's signature. A forged signature can look especially realistic if an individual uses an actual doctor's prescription pad. Some individuals may forge a doctor's signature to write a doctor's excuse or to obtain prescription medication. Forging a doctor's signature for any reason is a felony offence. Fortunately, there are things you can do to tell if a doctor's signature is real.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Call the prescribing doctor's office for verification. If you are another health care provider -- such as a pharmacist -- you can call the office of the prescribing doctor to verify the prescription to be filled. The doctor's office will have a record of every prescription written for each patient in their office.

  2. 2

    Look for doctor terminology. If you are unsure of the signature, investigate other parts of the signature. For example, a doctor is likely to write PRN for take as needed. A nonmedical professional may not know this.

  3. 3

    Compare the signature. Look for other papers or prescriptions lying around. Look for similarities in the signature.

  4. 4

    Take note of the prescription pad used. Compare it to other notes or prescriptions written on a particular doctor's prescription pad. An individual may try to replicate a prescription pad for their own personal use.

Tips and warnings

  • In most states, forging a doctor's signature to obtain a prescription is a felony. This crime is punishable by jail time or heavy fines.

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