I've been seeing this going around social media and I wanted to echo what has been shared. Do NOT abbreviate 2020 to 20 when signing documents this year.

The original message came from the East Millinocket Police Department in Maine. They posted their word of advice on their Facebook page about abbreviating 2020 in the new year. If you sign a document and only put 20 as the year, someone could modify it to include a different year.

According to the department,  by writing out 2020 it could potentially save you some trouble down the road.



Similar to their example, if you put 7/4/20, it could easily be changed to 7/4/2019, or 7/4/2021. If that document, check, etc. has your name on it and someone adds 2 simple numbers at the end of your abbreviated date, your signature is now on an incorrect document.

I have seen a lot of arguments on social media about this and people saying things like "You could have done the same in the year 2019...," "What about 2019? Where was our warning then? You could have put down 1993!" 3 things about those arguments...

  1. It's 2020 so who cares?
  2. If someone changed a document from 7/4/19 to 7/4/1993 in 2019, I would hope that the person looking at that would assume that something was probably incorrect.
  3. That is literally the dumbest argument I've heard.

Anyway... just make sure you write down 2020 at the end of each date you write down on any documents that could get you into trouble. If you think this is a hassle, sure you have to do this for 366 days this year, but you won't have to worry about it until 2121 when this year finally ends.

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