Leap year babies could face legal headaches because of their birth date

If people are born on February 29th, does that mean they only have a birthday once every four years?
If people are born on February 29th, does that mean they only have a birthday once every four years? iStock.

Today’s leap year date didn’t exist last year, nor will it exist next year.

For most of us the day comes and goes without much notice but for those who were actually born on a leap day it’s a day for celebration. Happy birthday!

However, as you probably know being a leap year baby, life can sometimes get complicated, especially when it comes to documents and government issued ID.

Legally speaking, if people are born on February 29th, does that mean they only have a birthday once every four years?

Obviously not, as that would be silly. Otherwise that would mean that a person born on February 29th couldn’t get a driver’s license until they were 64!

That doesn’t mean that leap year babies don’t have problems when facing the world of red tape and legalities.

Administrative annoyances often come in the form of documentation. Leap year babies regularly have trouble setting up bank accounts or insurance policies, because some forms and documents don’t have a February 29 option.

Another annoyance is a person’s legal ID. In the past, computer systems often didn’t recognize leap years, which can be quite problematic for those getting or trying to renew their driver’s license. Quite a few people seem to have had this issue in the United States.

Even those who manage to get IDs and passports to say February 29 are not spared from annoyances. For example, years ago a “Feb 29 Birthday Association” member from Vancouver traveling to the U.S. had trouble getting through airport security, because the agent didn’t believe that February 29 was a valid birthdate.

Next to administrative and legal ID annoyances, however, there is yet another annoyance leap year babies face: the legal age for drinking. Riddle us this: if you were born on February 29 but you turn legal age during a non-leap year does that mean you can drink on February 28, or do you have to wait until March 1?

It seems that in the U.S., people try their luck on February 28 during a non-leap year, because there is confusion about which date is the right date. However, it seems this strategy is working for some people in the U.S.

So, on a wing and a prayer, good luck with going to a bar on February 28 if you’re turning legal drinking age and it’s a non-leap year.

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