Remembering to write the correct date when a new year starts is challenging. This year, Notaries must take additional care because writing the 2-digit form of the year “2020” on certificate dates could potentially leave a document vulnerable to changed dates.
Many people typically shorten the year when writing out dates, such as abbreviating “February 12, 2019” as “2-12-19.” Notaries contacted the NNA this month to point out that if the year 2020 is shortened to just “20” when dating Notary certificate wording, an unscrupulous person could write in additional numbers later to alter the date of notarization. For example, the date “1-28-20” could be:
- Backdated by adding the number 17 at the end, changing the date to “1-28-2017”
- Post-dated by adding a “21” at the end, changing the date to “1-28-2021”
To avoid potential tampering, the safest course is to write out the full year as “2020” when completing Notary certificates or any other important records such as your journal entries.
Original Publication: National Notary Association
David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.