Social media and even major news sources have been running stories since the beginning of 2020 warning people not to abbreviate the year on legal documents. A date written as 1/15/20 could easily be modified by adding a couple of digits: 1/15/2018, essentially backdating the document by a couple years.

Critics have rightly pointed out that the same danger existed in 2019, 1/15/19 could have been changed to any date in the 1900’s and there’s little proof that took place.

In general, good practice is to write out a full date on any legal document/contract. January 15, 2020 cannot be easily changed. Spelling out the month also eliminates the ability to change January (1) to November (11) or December (12).

While the dangers may be a bit over-hyped, its still good practice to write the date in it’s longest form. In most important documents, it’s even taken a step further: the fifteenth day of January in the year 2020. That’s probably overkill, but writing out 2020 seems to be a fair trade-off.

Here’s a few articles on this subject from major news sources: 

CNN   USA Today  CBS News



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