What Pen & Ink Should You Use For Signing Legal Documents?

A friend of mine recently got a new position at her company that involves signing multiple legal documents during each business day. She needs to use either blue or black ink and wondered what fountain pen and ink I would suggest. Being a fellow stationery addict, she wanted something much more interesting, and more fraud resistant, to use at the office than a ballpoint pen.

Noodler's Bad Belted Kingfisher Fountain Pen Ink
Noodler’s Bad Belted Kingfisher Fountain Pen Ink

The first fountain pen inks that came to my mind were the Noodler’s Warden’s Series of inks that are among the most advanced fraud resisting inks in the world. The Warden’s ink fraud-proof qualities are special since most fountain pen inks on the market are not waterproof or fraud resistant. According to the Noodler’s website these inks resist “all the known tools of a forger, UV light, UV light wands, bleaches, alcohols, solvents, petrochemicals, oven cleaners, carpet cleaners, carpet stain lifters, and of course…they are also waterproof once permitted to dry upon cellulose paper.” In addition to these characteristics they even resist “potential tools of the forger that have not yet been observed in general use by law enforcement.” The Warden’s Inks come in 3 oz bottles (no cartridges) and are available in these blue and black colors:

Noodler's Bad Black Moccasin Fountain Pen Ink
Noodler’s Bad Black Moccasin Fountain Pen Ink

The next thing I thought of was that I wouldn’t want to use my most expensive fountain pens at the office, unless I could somehow put a 24-hour guard on them and made sure they never left my possession. Even well-meaning coworkers have been known to borrow a nice pen and misplace it or forget to return it. Besides the thought of using a less expensive pen at work, if you are using your fountain pen frequently you want something that is durable. The Pilot Metropolitan fountain pen is a great choice. It currently sells for less than $15.00, has a metal cap and barrel that won’t crack and it comes with a converter so that you can use bottled ink. You can’t do much better than that! Pilot Metropolitan fountain pen color choices include:

Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pens
Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pens

My second choice for an office fountain pen would be a LAMY Safari with an ink converter and a medium nib. Usually signature lines on documents give you a fair amount of room to sign, so a medium nib should make your signature look great. It also prevents you from accidentally poking through the cheap paper you will probably be signing on. Speaking of cheap paper, you may experience some ink bleed-through and feathering when using a fountain pen on poor quality paper. Even though this might be the case, I still personally prefer to use a fountain pen. LAMY Safari standard colors include:

LAMY Vista Fountain Pen
LAMY Vista Fountain Pen

Another thing to think about – are the documents you are signing a single copy or do you need to press firmly to produce multiple copies? In my friend’s case, she is only signing single copies so a fountain pen is just fine. If you are pressing firmly to produce a duplicate copy (or copies) a fountain pen will not work. In this instance you’ll need to go with a roller ball pen or something similar. If you’d still like to use the Noodler’s Warden’s Ink, there are a few roller ball pens on the market that fill with fountain pen ink. You’ll need to make sure you have the proper ink converter if you need one. Some examples of roller ball pens that fill with fountain pen ink are:

Stipula Bon Voyage Speed Ball Pen - Sapphire
Stipula Bon Voyage Speed Ball Pen – Sapphire

Of course, the requirements for each work environment will vary, and this blog post is not meant to be legal advice. Do you need to sign legal documents at work? What kind of pen do you use? If you use a fountain pen in the office, what kind of fountain pen & ink do you choose?

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5 Replies to “What Pen & Ink Should You Use For Signing Legal Documents?”

  1. This is absolutely fantastic advice, those would have been (and actually are) my office pens. But I can go wild with inks. no crazy restriction there, but when it does need to LOOK serious, I usually go with Noodler’s Bad Blue Heron.

  2. Have you tested the Noodlers “Luxury Blue” ink which comes
    only in one ounce bottles? It’s the only one which seems to glow under UV light. It claims to be “Eternal”. I would like to use this one for fraud and check washing prevention.
    Thanks.

    1. Hello William,

      We have not tested the ink that you mention. If you have specific questions about it you can contact Noodler’s directly for an accurate answer. Thanks!

    2. Eternal inks usually refer to being archival quality, meaning they wont fade with time. They can be fraud resistant, but they aren’t the same thing.

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