Canadian passports have a page reserved for "endorsements and limitations" (French: "mentions et restrictions"):

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I assume (but correct me if I am wrong) that this page is intended for messages from the Canadian government.

"Limitations" seems clear enough—I imagine that if the Canadian authorities don't want me to travel to, say, the Republic of Molvanîa, then they will write this limitation on this page. Then again, I suppose whether to admit me to Molvanîa is the sole prerogative of the Molvanîan government. (I have never seen an airline scrutinize anyone's "endorsements and limitations" passport page before letting them on an international flight; all they seem to care about is the ID page and the visa. So even if I have a no-Molvanîa limitation in my passport, what's to stop me from getting on a plane bound to Molvanîa?) What sort of limitations can be written here that are actually effective, and who enforces them?

And what is an "endorsement"? The usual meaning of this term in English is something akin to "support" or "approval". For what travel-related purpose would I need an explicit statement of approval from the Canadian government in my passport? The passport already states that it's "valid for all countries", so I can't fathom what extra benefits an endorsement might provide. Or is "endorsement" a legal term that means something different in this context? If so, what is this meaning, and how does it differ from "limitation"?

  • "Endorsement" is used here in a legal sense, meaning "an additional term or condition". A limitation is a particular kind of endorsement. – molypot May 6 '18 at 10:28
  • With respect to endorsements or limitations, my US passport says "SEE PAGE 27" and page 27 is blank ... and I've never seen one with anything there. – Michael Hampton May 7 '18 at 2:33

That page can be used for basically any type of note that the issuing authority wants to record. An incomplete list of examples, not all of which are necessarily applicable to Canadians:

  • a change in the holder's name (e.g. getting married)
  • other names by which the holder is known
  • travel restrictions (e.g. "valid for travel to all countries except Liechtenstein")
  • added pages to the passport
  • a change in the dates of the passport's validity
  • odd flavours of nationality (e.g. British or U.S. non-citizens nationals) and associated right of abode

And yes, these are only binding on the originating country: if the passport is endorsed to make it invalid for Liechtenstein, it's unlikely to stop its holder from visiting, but when they return and Immigration finds Liechtenstein stamps, there may be some questions asked. (Partly because Liechtenstein doesn't actually have border controls as such, so you need to go out of your way to get those stamps...)

Of course, in this age of digital records, this all seems a little quaint and these pages will probably go the way of the dodo someday.

  • Thanks for the general list of examples, but which of them are "limitations" and which are "endorsements"? I'd really like to know the difference between the two terms. – Psychonaut May 6 '18 at 10:46
  • 1
    @Psychonaut You may be overthinking this. Restrictions on use are limitations, anything else is an endorsement. – lambshaanxy May 6 '18 at 12:37
  • Another very common endorsement is that the passport is a replacement for a lost passport. – ajd May 6 '18 at 14:18

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