State Birth Registration Commencement

Birth certificates are an important resource in linking a child to their parents. Depending on the era, birth certificates include the name of the child, birth date and place, parents’ names including mother’s maiden name, parents’ occupations, how many children the mother had previously – and in some cases, even whether the birth was illegitimate. Birth certificates help us answer questions about an ancestor’s parents and their birth family.

Who Has a Birth Certificate?
Registering of births was not consistent throughout the United States. While some states started in the
1800s, other states didn’t start recording births until the 20th century. Here is our list of when birth registration commenced in each state.

You will find additional information on birth records and links on the FamilySearch website at
FamilySearch United States Birth Records Wikipage.

Alabama 1908
Alaska 1913
Arizona 1909
Arkansas 1914
California 1905
Colorado 1907
Connecticut 1897
Delaware 1861
Florida 1899
Georgia 1919
Hawaii 1842
Idaho 1911
Illinois 1916
Indiana 1907
Iowa 1880
Kansas 1911
Kentucky 1911
Louisiana 1914
Maine 1892
Maryland 1898
Massachusetts 1841
Michigan 1867
Minnesota 1900
Mississippi 1912
Missouri 1910
Montana 1907
Nebraska 1905
Nevada 1911
New Hampshire 1901
New Jersey 1848
New Mexico 1920
New York 1880
North Carolina 1913
North Dakota 1907
Ohio 1908
Oklahoma 1908
Oregon 1903
Pennsylvania 1906
Rhode Island 1853
South Carolina 1915
South Dakota 1905
Tennessee 1908
Texas 1903
Utah 1905
Vermont 1955
Virginia 1912
Washington 1907
West Virginia 1917
Wisconsin 1907
Wyoming 1909

Note: Some counties started recording births much earlier than their parent state. You should always check the county where your ancestor was born. The District of Columbia started vital records registration in 1861.