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Rule 901. Authenticating orIdentifying Evidence


(a)      In General. Tosatisfy the requirement of authenticating or identifying an item of evidence,the proponent must produce evidence sufficient to support a finding that theitem is what the proponent claims it is.


(b)      Examples. Thefollowing are examples only — not a complete list — of evidence that satisfiesthe requirement:


(1)   Testimonyof a Witness with Knowledge. Testimony that an item is what it is claimedto be.


(2)   Nonexpert Opinion About Handwriting. A nonexpert’s opinion that handwriting is genuine, based on afamiliarity with it that was not acquired for the current litigation.


(3)   Comparisonby an Expert Witness or the Trier of Fact. A comparison with anauthenticated specimen by an expert witness or the trierof fact.


(4)   DistinctiveCharacteristics and the Like. The appearance, contents, substance, internalpatterns, or other distinctive characteristics of the item, taken together withall the circumstances.


(5)   OpinionAbout a Voice. An opinion identifying a person’s voice — whether heardfirsthand or through mechanical or electronic transmission or recording — basedon hearing the voice at any time under circumstances that connect it with thealleged speaker.


(6)   EvidenceAbout a Telephone Conversation. For a telephone conversation, evidence thata call was made to the number assigned at the time to:


(A)  a particularperson, if circumstances, including self-identification, show that the personanswering was the one called; or


(B)  a particularbusiness, if the call was made to a business and the call related to businessreasonably transacted over the telephone.


(7)   EvidenceAbout Public Records. Evidence that:


(A)  a document wasrecorded or filed in a public office as authorized by law; or


(B)  a purportedpublic record or statement is from the office where items of this kind arekept.


(8)   EvidenceAbout Ancient Documents or Data Compilations. For a document or data compilation,evidence that it:


(A)  is in acondition that creates no suspicion about its authenticity;


(B)  was in a placewhere, if authentic, it would likely be; and


(C)  is at least 20years old when offered.


(9)   EvidenceAbout a Process or System. Evidence describing a process or system andshowing that it produces an accurate result.


(10) Methods Providedby a Statute or Rule. Any method of authentication or identificationallowed by court rule or statute of this state.



2011 Advisory CommitteeNote. – Thelanguage of this rule has been amended as part of the restyling of the EvidenceRules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminologyconsistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylisticonly. There is no intent to change any result in any ruling on evidenceadmissibility. This rule is the federal rule, verbatim.




Subdivision (b)(2) is in accord withState v. Freshwater, 30 Utah 442, 85 Pac. 447 (1906). Subdivision (b)(8) iscomparable with Rule 67, Utah Rules of Evidence (1971), except that the formerrule imposed a 30-year requirement. Subdivision (b)(10) is an adaptation ofsubdivision (10) in the comparable federal rules to conform to state practice.