Police Issue Warning About Abbreviating the Year 2020 When Signing Documents

It’s a new year, and this time, when signing the date, it’s a very big change. Sometimes it’s hard enough remembering to sign the new year when dating documents, but this time, according to the police, it’s also important to remember to write out the full year.

If you were used to abbreviating 2019 to simply 19 when signing documents last year, this year, police suggest writing 2020 when signing documents and never shortening it to simply 20.

At first, this may seem like odd advice. Shortening the year to the last two numbers is very common, so it might seem strange to have to do things a little bit differently this particular year.

When explained, it makes a lot of sense. A recent Facebook post from the East Millinocket Police Department gave a really good example of why it’s important to write out the full year. “March 3rd, 2020 being written as 3/3/20 could be modified to 3/3/2017 or 3/3/2018.”

This Facebook post has been shared more than 4.7 thousand times, but not everyone agrees with the advice. Many of the comments say things like, “Gonna call BS on this one unfortunately. Should we not have used ’19’ for the entirety of last year: eg 3/3/19 because someone could alter it to 3/3/1991(92, 93, 94, through 1998)? Sorry. Sounds like fear mongering here.”

The police updated their post to address these comments.

Please understand that we handle scam and fraud calls on a regular basis so we try to provide our small community with tips to avoid potential problems. Of course we understand that all dates can be altered, however I believe that most here would agree that if a document of any kind, either legal or professional, is brought to our attention as being forged or fraudulent, it would likely raise far more red flags, depending on the circumstances, if it had a date of 1999 as opposed to 2019 or 2021.

For more on why it’s important write out the full year when signing documents in 2020, watch the video below.


Do you usually abbreviate the year when you sign documents? Are you going to protect yourself by writing out the full year in 2020?