Is it legal to change a document signed by someone else?

I work for a non-profit that requires parent consent PC for child participation. On the PC there is a space for the parent to include their address and phone number. The PC also indicates that the signature must be in ink. Often times our parents do not put an address they may be in a hurry, they are transient, or they do not want us to know where they live, etc. and on occasion we have a parent sign in pencil. At our most recent training we were instructed to fill in any missing information such as the address ourselves after we have received the signed PC. We were also instructed to trace over any pencil signatures with pen. In school I was always told we are not allowed to make any changes to a document signed by another party, so I do not feel what they are asking us to do it necessarily legal. Should I do as they have instructed or should I stand my ground and submit my paperwork ‘as-is’?

Asked on August 23, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You cannot change the terms or conditions of the document, or add a signature (to show agreement/consent to the document),or change/revise a signature. However, you can fill in missing information, like an address or contact information, which does not affect the terms of the document (and which, after all, could simply be placed on a post-it note or extra sheet stapled to the document).
So filling in the information: legal. Tracing over a signature, which can be taken as altering it--not legal.


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