Homeland Security Investigations Forensic Laboratory

Homeland Security Investigations Forensic LaboratorySince its creation in 1978, the ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Forensic Laboratory, formerly known as the Forensic Document Laboratory, has been the only U.S. crime laboratory specializing in the scientific authentication and research of travel and identity documents, and related issues. The laboratory provides a broad range of document and latent print related forensic, intelligence and investigative support services for ICE, DHS, and many other U.S. and foreign law enforcement agencies. The laboratory's reference library, the most extensive of its kind in the United States, contains thousands of travel and identity documents, and reference materials.

forensic analysisAt the lab, forensic sciences personnel provide scientific examination, research and analysis in support of criminal investigations and other issues important to national security. The lab also examines passports, visas, identity cards, birth certificates and related documents to determine their authenticity. Staff members provide unique technical expertise to other agencies that develop and issue secure travel and identity documents. The laboratory also supports all ICE investigative and enforcement programs with the complete range of forensic fingerprint services such as the processing of latent prints from all types of evidence, including documents, drug packaging, bulk currency wrappings, computers, ammunition and firearms.

Operations personnel at the laboratory identify and disseminate information regarding methods, trends and patterns used to counterfeit and alter travel and identity documents. The lab produces and distributes this intelligence to law enforcement officers worldwide through document intelligence alerts and reference guides. They also provide fraudulent document detection training to a wide variety of U.S. and foreign agencies, and initiate and develop programs to systematically identify, deter and disrupt criminal organizations who utilize travel and identity documents to commit illegal activities.

The laboratory is the premier U.S. resource for forensic, research, training and law enforcement issues related to travel and identity documents. It is a unique asset that addresses critical U.S. government needs pertaining to document examination, improved document security and fraudulent document identification.

The HSI Forensic Laboratory "Guide to Selected U.S. Travel and Identity Documents" (M-396) has been designed for law enforcement personnel seeking assistance in identifying the various U.S. documents associated with travel, employment and identity. Copies can be obtained through the Customs and Border Protection National Distribution Center using the following forms and faxing them to 317-290-3046.