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A different approach to off-line signature verification is described in the paper. There are inevitable variations in the signature patterns written by the same person. Due to the projection profiles of measuring the positional variations, the modified dynamic time warping (DTW) algorithm is applied to optimal matching. The optimal algorithm penalizes points with higher phase difference between a reference signature point and a testing signature point in order to prevent minimum distance distortion caused by outliers. Given a signature to be verified, the positional displacements are determined and the authenticity is decided based on the statistics of the training samples. The experimental results with English and Chinese signature databases confirm the effectiveness of the proposed technique and show its ability to yield high verification rates.