When Were State Birth Records Started and Required

If you are looking for birth records, including certificates, you need to know the timing of each state’s requirements. Each state in the U.S. started requiring birth registrations in different years. Generally, some types of records were created prior to the official state laws, either at the county, city, or town levels. But state records weren’t required until a law was passed. Some states passed laws that mandated that records be kept at the local level, even though there was no mandated state registration. Furthermore, even though registrations and certificates were mandated, general compliance was not achieved by all entities for just a few years or even a few decades in some instances.

This Quicksheet lists for each state when registration was required, when it started at local jurisdictions, and when general compliance with the state law was achieved. Please note that local-level registration and records were not adhered to by all local jurisdictions. If the year is blank, I could not find the information for that entry.

For all the previously published Quick Reference Guides, click on QuickSheets

Genealogy QuickSheets – Frequently Asked Questions

Quicksheets are also known as Quick Reference Guides. They are generally a one or two page PDF that is downloadable. A few QuickSheets are as large as a five page PDF.
Every QuickSheet is in a specific post on The Ancestor Hunt website. Just bring up the post, and at the bottom of the page is a big brown Download button that allows you to view and/or download the PDF when clicked.
Yes! You can view or download as many as you wish.

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