Leap Day happens only once every four years. So what about those people who were born on Feb. 29? Are they legally only 10 years old today even though they were born in 1976? Of course not. The law recognizes Leap Day as just another day, and those born on Feb. 29 are considered to be aging at the same pace as everyone else.
Even though there are no official laws on the books regarding Leap Day, March 1 is considered the legal birthday in non-leap years of someone born on Leap Day, since it is the first day after Feb. 28. This means someone born on Feb. 29 is legally considered to have aged one year on the day after Feb. 28. In non-leap years, that day is March 1.
So someone born on Feb. 29, the first day they can legally drive, vote, join the Army, buy alcohol or start collecting Social Security is March 1 in non-leap years.
The same goes for contracts or other documents signed on Feb. 29. There are no concerns of the oddity of the calendar affecting the legality or term of the deal. It is important to note, however, that Feb. 29 is a real day. That means it counts when it comes to contract/legal agreements defined by an actual/finite number of days.
So, the best advice is to treat today like any other day.
Here are some fun facts about Leap Day:
- Statisticians say the chances of having a birthday on Feb. 29 are approximately one in 1,461.
- Leap babies are called “leaplings”
- The eighth premier of Tasmania, James Milne Wilson, was born on a Leap Day (Feb. 29, 1812) and also died on a Leap Day (Feb. 29, 1880), according to the World Heritage Encyclopedia.
- Composer Jimmy Dorsey, entertainer Dinah Shore, Pope Paul III, NHL Hall of Fame Henri Richard and self-help guru Tony Robbins were all born on Leap Day.
- Anthony, Texas and Anthony, New Mexico are considered to be the Leap Day Capitals of the World. The sister-towns hold a week-long festival every Leap Year to celebrate the event.
- In some countries Leap Day is also known as Bachelor’s Day, when a woman is allowed to propose marriage to a man. If the man refuses he must give the woman money or merchandise.
So maybe there is a reason for some people to get jumpy on Leap Day, after all.