While the next leap year isn't until 2024, I've been thinking about this question all day, since today is the last day of February. "Is there a worse day to be born than February 29th?" The odds of being born on a leap day are extremely rare and according to Iowa State Daily, "less than 0.1% of the world population is born on February 29.

Unsplash - Emiliana Hall
Unsplash - Emiliana Hall

While it may be rare, there are obviously people born on February 29th, every four years. Could you imagine only being able to celebrate your actual birthday once every 4 years? It might be kind of cool as it can make for an ice breaker when speaking to someone you're trying to get to know or it could be cool because it's so rare but for most of your life, you're celebrating your birthday on either February 28th or March 1st.

I can understand the reasons for celebrating on both days. Maybe you want to keep your birth month in February, so you choose the 28th. Some might choose March 1 because celebrating early feels wrong. Either way, what an unlucky thing to happen to someone.

You don't really get to celebrate your actual day very often. I'd be asking my mom why she didn't push harder or leave me in the oven a little longer...which I'm sure would go over really well.

My other question about a leap day birthday is when you turn 16, do you have to wait until March 1 to get your license or can you go take your test on February 28th? When you want to have your first legal beer, will the bar let you in on the 28th or do you have to wait until March 1? It would be kind of nice to be able to get some of these privileges a day early if you could. It turns out that the law doesn't care much about leap days.

Professor of Law at the University of Iowa, John Reitz, was asked this question and he wasn't exactly sure but he believes you'd have to wait until March 1. His legal thinking is that if you're born on February 29th, you aren't technically old enough on February 28th. Someone who is born on a leap day would have to wait until March 1st as they are 1 day old enough as opposed to 1 day to young. He also added,

I don’t know of any statute or general rule that has anything to do with leap day.

According to WXOX, DMVs vary from state to state as to whether or not they put Feb 28th or March 1 on someone's license, who happens to be born on a leap day. When it comes time to renew your license, you would go in on the day they list as your birthday.

If you're born on a leap day are you celebrating February 28 or March 1?

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