Is it acceptable to request the birth date of an applicant on the job application? 

It is generally NOT advisable to request an applicant’s date of birth on an employment application (except to ask whether an applicant is over the age of 18).  The Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of age and applies to people age 40 and over.  Like sex, age is rarely relevant to a job description.

In order to avoid age discrimination you may also want to refrain from asking questions about when an applicant attended elementary, high school or college.

It is always a good idea to consult your employment lawyer regarding your employment applications.