Skip to main content

Birth Certificates

Reviewed January 2022

During the initial registration process for each student, schools are required to ask for and see proof of the student’s age. Many schools have moved to online registration processes that request a parent provide proof of age of the student within the online system. Systems such as PowerSchool and Infinite Campus may have the ability to upload these items of proof into the system. However, there is one potential problem with this practice that could have legal ramifications for schools: if schools are asking parents to upload birth certificates and other vital statistics documents into this system.

Iowa Code 144.45 outlines the state registrar's authority to issue certificate copies. Section 144.45(5) states:

'No person shall prepare or issue any certificate which purports to be an original, certified copy, or copy of a certificate of birth, death, fetal death, or marriage except as authorized in this chapter.'

This means that a parent cannot upload the original into the system, thereby creating a copy of the birth certificate in the system. If schools are going to ask for a birth certificate as proof of age, the school should view the actual certificate and give it back to parents. If a parent is allowed to upload the document, it could be altered prior to uploading. Remember, parents are not required to provide a birth certificate as proof of age. It is just one of the many documents that may be used to show proof of age.