Should legal documents be signed with blue or black pen?

  • Generally it does not make a difference, but, there are circumstances such as a lawyers office (where I have worked) that they prefer black ink or, if you start off with blue or black you finish in the same color of ink. Here is an example: How to File for a Fee Waiver: Follow the instructions attached to each form to fill it out. You will need to type or print neatly in black ink. Do not print on the back or sides of the forms, print only in the blanks provided.
  • Copiers today are so good that it is often difficult to tell the copy from the original document. When clients sign in blue ink, it is easier to quickly identify which is the original.
  • Many legal documents that affect real property must be recorded in the land records. Many state recording laws require that documents that are to be recorded in the land records must be executed in black ink since they must be scanned into the public records and black ink scans the best. A will should also be executed in black ink so that the signatures copy well for the public record although a will signed in red would not be disqualified.
  • Some entities are now requiring signatures in blue ink in order to differentiate the original from a copy. You should check with the entity that is requiring the signature since rules, laws and policies vary.