Why You Need to Write ‘2020’ Instead of ’20’ on Legal Documents
The idea that you should write '2020' on documents and not the abbreviation '20' has been circling the internet. But is it true that this is something you need to do? KARE 11 checked around for us and figured out that, yes, you should write the full '2020' on items, especially on legal documents and checks.
If you write the abbreviation '20' it's super easy to change that year to whatever fraudsters want it to be. KARE 11 writes, "writing “20” instead of 2020 offers them an easy door into defrauding you. They can simply change that “20” to any year this decade and potentially use that information for nefarious purposes."
Here's an example from KARE 11 on how this could be an issue when it comes to checks:
If you wrote a check on February 1st, 2020 it should technically only be use-able for about six months.
The U.S. Uniform Commercial Code states that banks don’t have to honor a check after that period.
So from February through August, 2020, that check is use-able. But what if you wrote a “20” instead of 2020?
Someone could, in theory, change that “20” to say “2021.” That would allow them to deposit the check again from February-August 2021 without giving the bank tellers anything to look out for.
Legal documents could have even more sinister outcomes.
So just to be extra safe, I would suggest writing '2020' instead of abbreviating it to '20'.