How to Tell If a Doctor's Signature Is Real

Updated April 17, 2017

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.

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.

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.

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

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.


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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About the Author

Michelle Zehr started writing professionally in 2009. She has written on health, fitness, fashion, interior design, home decorating,sports and finance for several websites. Zehr possesses a Bachelor of Arts in communication from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master of Arts in professional writing from Chatham University and a graduate certificate in health promotion from California University of Pennsylvania.