What You Need to Know About Back Dating a Document: Can a Notary Do That?

Can a Notary Back Date a Document?

Backdating a document involves changing a document to a date earlier than the actual date. This can be done to make it appear like something happened at an earlier date than it actually did, or to cover up fraudulent activity. In some cases, according to the laws, it may be legal to backdate, while in others it may not be. In this blog post, we will explore the legality of backdating documents and answer whether or not a notary public can do so for their clients.

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What is Backdating?

This involves marking a form with a date prior to the current date. This is usually used when there has been some kind of delay in getting the form signed, so the backdated document reflects the original date that was intended. While this can be done for honest reasons, there can also be fraudulent backdating. If you’re unsure about whether or not this is allowed under your circumstances, you should consult with an attorney or notary public.

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Step by Step Instructions on How to Backdate a Document

1. Find a document that you need to backdate. This could be a contract, letter, or any other type of agreement.
2. Fill out the form as usual, but don't sign or date it yet.
3. Make a copy of the paper and keep it in a safe place.
4. Backdate by changing the word or words of the sentence with the effective date on the original form to the earlier date you want it to be.
5. Make sure you've signed and dated the form according to the new date in the presence of notaries.
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What are Some Reasons to Backdate a Document?

Adding words and information to an existing document can be done for various reasons. Examples include:

To Avoid Paying Taxes and Fees

Backdating documents can help you avoid paying taxes and fees. One of these examples is, that if you receive a bill in the mail that’s older than 30 days, you can backdate it to make it appear as if it was sent within the past 30 days. This can prevent the IRS from collecting any penalties or a pay rise on your behalf.

However, there are certain situations in which it’s illegal. If you’re trying to avoid paying taxes or fees because of an error on your part, like if you’ve been late with your tax payments for more than 60 days, then it’s questionable.

Correcting the actual date helps correct your records

This is a common way to correct errors in your records. If you have an original paper that was lost or destroyed, changing it can allow you to obtain legal proof of its existence and prevent you from having to go back to the beginning of the process again. This also provides evidence of the date when an event happened, so that you can use it to prove accuracy.

It may be more convenient or even more accurate than creating a new paper altogether. This can also provide useful information about when events occurred. For instance, if you’re trying to establish who owns property between multiple parties, this can help prove purchase and ownership or use prior to current ownership.

To Avoid Liability for Fraud (In Case of a Lawsuit)

Backdating can be a form of fraud, which is why it’s important to keep records of all your transactions. If you’re sued for fraud and have no proof of your transactions, you could be liable for paying damages.

For instance, if you backdate a loan application from January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2015, and then proceed to close on the loan in January 2016, it will look like you made the loan on December 31st, when in fact it was made in January 2016.

If you backdate anything that affects the value or how many years of interest someone pays on their debts (such as backdating a mortgage), then that person could end up paying more money in interest than they owe over their loan term. This can also happen with backdated tax returns or other forms related to tax payments or filings.

Save Time & Money

In most cases, people want to backdate a form to save both time and money, especially if there’s some kind of deadline involved.

When you backdate a document, you’re essentially creating an earlier version of the same paper. This can help save time and energy as you won’t have to go back through old papers and correct mistakes that have already been fixed in newer versions of your work forms.

This can also be used as part of a savings strategy. For example, if you’re hiring employees for a job, it may make sense for you to pay them less than what they’re worth at the present moment in time. If any employees leave before completing their contract and don’t finish the project, you’ll have spent money on them even though they didn’t complete their tasks.


Backdated papers can help establish legitimacy for your business, its owners, and your clients by creating a sense of history and continuity between your company and those who worked there previously.

The Client Asks for a Quick Turnaround

It’s very common in business to have a client that asks for a quick turnaround time. In some cases, it may be because they need the papers as soon as possible. Backdating can help your client get their papers in hand faster.


A notary public is an official of the state who witnesses the signing of important papers and verifies the identity of the signer(s). A notary can refuse to notarize a document if it appears to have been backdated, but this is not always possible to determine. If you’re unsure of the answer as to whether or not a notary can backdate your document, it’s best to consult with an attorney.



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