Automotive News, a magazine that caters to dealers, explains different types of forgery.
Forgery can exist on any document. There are people who think forging a contract is the only forbidden act. Any other document, that’s “kind of OK” in a lot of people’s opinion. But it can be forgery on any document. It can be the spouse signing the other spouse’s name, if the F&I manager knowingly lets it take place. It could be using “signature on file” or “per phone” on documents instead of a signature. That’s OK on some credit card agreements, but not in F&I. Or it could just be someone in sales or in F&I signing.
Why do dealers do it?
They rationalize their felonies. There are two basic reasons, I guess. There could be a financial incentive. More commonly, I think, it could just be laziness. “I forgot to get the signature. I don’t want to call the customer back in. I’ll just do it myself.”