I have a German passport, an ID card and a driver's licence. The signature in the latter is seven years old and looks completely different from the current signature - which so far was fine since where I live it isn't used for identification. What concerns me way more is the fact that I am going to travel from Europe to South East Asia. The electronic device that was used to capture my signature on had an abysmal sampling rate. The resulting signature in my passport looks vaguely similar to my actual signature. It looks like a child tried to forge my signature. Same issue with my ID. The signature on the passport and on the ID don't look the same.

Are there going to be issues at the airport or somewhere else when officers try to identify me even though the image in the passport strongly resembles me? (Bonus question: Is the speed with which I wrote the strokes recorded and used for identification? I adapted my writing speed to the tablet's sampling rate which probably does not correlate in any way with the real speed.)

If it matters: In my country, passports of citizens younger than 24 years are only valid for 6 years, otherwise 10 years. One could argue at the airport that I'm still young and my signature underlies changing. I'm not really comfortable with arguing with airport officers.

  • Do they even check the signature? I suppose that, e.g., US immigration officials could check the signature on your customs declaration with the one in your passport, but do they? In any case, it's very common for people's signatures to change. Mine changed dramatically during a five-year period where I had to sign a whole bunch of forms at work. Commented Jun 15, 2017 at 7:58
  • For years I never bothered to sign my passport and it never came up as an issue on my many trips to Europe and Asia; so not sure if its that critical of an item. Commented Jun 17, 2017 at 9:30
  • @Burhan 'TSA made me sign mine before they screened me in the US Commented Jun 8, 2018 at 15:25

2 Answers 2


At some point in my life, I have decided I hate my signature, so I just came up with another one I still use nowadays.

I have multiple IDs (ID cards, drivers licences, passports, etc.) from different countries that have two completely different signatures.

Not surprisingly I have had the same question which made me talk to the lawyer, who has basically told me the following: legally speaking, a signature is you writing something on a paper; it can be a word, phrase or something as stupid a painting.

For a convenience, it is advised to have the same signature on all of your ID, but it is not legally required.


When I was getting a replacement passport for my damaged one, I had to show my regular ID and sign some papers and my signature there was extremely different because it's changed drastically in the last 9 years. It was the first time anyone had said anything about my difference in signatures since they had changed but I just told him I used to use that one a long time ago but I've changed it since. He shrugged and we went on with the signing. As far as the airport goes, I am not even sure they check your signature. I think they're most focused on your ID photo to make sure it's you and any stamps or visas you may need to enter or exit that specific region. So, don't worry! You should be fine. If they say anything, just tell them it's your old signature and I am sure they will understand.

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