Best Answer: The dates are all over the place. As far as Europe goes, most start some form of baptismal registration in the 1400s by having the parish priest in the town register the births of all children in the parish registers. They even registered the births of non-Catholics. Then the Reformation messed with that and many small countries stopped that process for the next 300 years.
In the early 1800s, France replaced parochial registrations with civil registrations. But there weren't certificates issued, just named entered into a large book. Other countries started following suit and by the mid-1800s most of Europe was following a process of civil registration.
Canada was splintered. The French Quebecois continued parochial registrations until the later half of the 1800s. The Lower Canada (Quebec) didn't have a standard procedure until roughly 1850. and they weren't good about enforcing it because of the highly rural nature of their population until after 1900.
The US was (and is) a mess to understand. Some states started VOLUNTARY civil
registrations in 1867. Not many people were willing to pay the 20 cents to register a child if they didn't have to. Again, it was only entry into a large book, not paper certificates. Some states started keeping the records in the early 1900s. In the Southwest and Deep South, you'll be lucky to find birth records kept before 1935.
Mandatory registration in the US didn't happen until WWII. It was about that time that paper certificates were issued to doctors and midwives to fill out, sign and return to the County. It also coincided with a number of Alien Registration laws. But if you didn't have a birth certificate after that date, you didn't have to worry as there were a number of other routes you could go to get a passport or file retirement papers. It was a matter of convenience to get a birth certificate, but not necessary. If you didn't have your birth registered when you were a baby, you could also go back and apply for delayed registration.