I recently noticed that I have different signatures on both of my passports. I acquired my 2nd passport for eligibility to stay at a foreign country to study in a long term. I would like to visit where I was originally from but am afraid if Customs will question my signatures on both of my passports. Will this cause any trouble when travelling? Thank you for your help!

  • 3
    Maybe you can specify the countries for which you have the passports? Ordinarily you wouldn't need to show both of them at immigration. More info in at this TravelSE question - I have two passports, how do I use them for travel
    – RedBaron
    Mar 24, 2021 at 7:02
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    It is quite common to have different versions of your name in the different countries, resulting in different signatures.
    – Willeke
    Mar 24, 2021 at 11:32
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    You don't specify how different the signatures are.I know that if I try to sign legibly (as I may for an important document) it's distinctly different than if I'm just scrawling my signature on an electronic capture at a credit card terminal (as is still common in the US). Since it takes extra effort for me to sign "neatly", I'm pretty certain that my "neat" signature comes out differently each and every time I attempt it. I'd hope that they're all the "same" when it comes to a detailed handwriting analysis, but they sure look different at a quick glance...
    – FreeMan
    Mar 24, 2021 at 12:36
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    @RedBaron: US law dictates that US citizens should travel on US Passports. When entering a country to which you are bound by citizenship, you should show your local passport. I'm born in Canada, but a US citizen by naturalization. If I travel to Europe, I only show my US passport. If I visit Canada I show both (and I've been asked for both and told I should always show both by Canadian border folks)
    – Flydog57
    Mar 24, 2021 at 15:51
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    Your exposition seems strange. Isn't the main reason for acquiring a second passport precisely eligibility to enter a third country which isn't happy with the first? Why would you show both passports at any one border? If the problem is that you might be searched and caught with a passport you planned not to show, why not just travel with the other one? Mar 24, 2021 at 20:41

1 Answer 1


I don't think this is normally an issue. For the most part, you will only be showing one passport. For example, use your European passport in the EU (when leaving or arriving) and use your foreign passport when you enter that country. In third countries, use the passport that shows eligibility to your destination for that part of the journey.

The only time I can think of where you would show both passports is at check-in. At that point the airline may want to show that you are eligible to enter the destination without any visa (if applicable) or necessary paperwork for foreigners (especially with additional Covid requirements). They may also want to see your other passport to see that you are staying legally at the place of departure (otherwise there may be delays when departing).

When departing, the passport control officers (or machines) I've met don't look at eligibility to enter at my destination, they simply check if I am who I say I am and whether they have some problem with me (outstanding warrants, outstanding fines, overstaying one's visa if applicable, etc.). To show that, I only need to show one passport.

Comparing signatures, I think, would only happen if there's some additional suspicion. If that happens, the worst case is that they do some additional verifying to see if the document is genuine. Maybe that includes a check with the country that issued the passport to see if they have a record of you, but I don't think that's a regular scenario.

  • Thank you so much for you feedback and help. This will ease my anxiety of this situation. Thanks Again! Mar 24, 2021 at 5:00
  • @TravelBuddy098 you're welcome, see also this question which has some more details on using multiple passports.
    – JJJ
    Mar 24, 2021 at 5:13
  • "At passport control, the officers (or machines) I've met don't look at eligibility to enter at my destination": I had to read that three or four times before I realized that you were writing about departure passport control (which the US doesn't have). Perhaps adding the word "departure" would make it clearer.
    – phoog
    Mar 24, 2021 at 13:41

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