Historically, formalin fixed (FF) tissues could not be used as a source of DNA in forensic science due to the fact that the DNA was too degraded for DNA analysis. With the introduction of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique to forensic science, the usefulness of DNA from this biological material has been re-evaluated. This study evaluates the potential use of DNA from FF and formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissues in 13 PCR systems; HLA DQ alpha, LDLR, GYPA, HBGG, D7S8, GC, D1S80, vWA31, THO1, F13A1, FES/FPS, TPOX, and CSF1PO. The first six, HLA DQ alpha, LDLR, GYPA, HBGG, D7S8, and GC are reverse dot blot systems, D1S80 is an amplified fragment length polymorphism (AmpFlp) system and the others are short tandem repeats (STRs). This study shows that FFPE tissue which has not been fixed in formalin for more than three days is a useful source of DNA for 12 of the 13 PCR systems. In contrast, FF tissue did not prove to be a reliable source of DNA for the PCR techniques examined here.