08th January 2020

Why you Shouldn’t Abbreviate 2020 on Important Documents


Most important legal documents and contracts that require a signature also require a date. It’s common practice to shorten the year when writing down a date, for example, last year you may have dated something as 7/1/19 – abbreviating 2019 to just 19.

Doing the same abbreviation this year, however, could cause all sorts of legal issues with paperwork and leave you at risk to fraud.

All dates can be altered, but this is a specific problem with the year 2020 as, if it is abbreviated to just 20, it will be very easy to alter. Simply adding two numbers to the end could easily change it to any year within this century. For example, 7/1/20 could be back-dated to 7/1/2019, or pushed forward to 7/1/2021. Being able to easily alter the date by just a year or two either way could make fraudulent documents difficult to detect.

If you abbreviated 2019 to 19, however, the date could only be changed to a date before 2000, which is potentially very unrealistic depending on the type of document, and would be much easier to spot and raise red flags.

This article outlines where this could cause the biggest problems and lists documents that you need to take extra care when signing this year.


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