Welcome back to JustAnswer.
"Is a DOB really needed?"
That is not a legal requirement, but it may be a policy requirement of the NOPD or Orleans Parish DA. The reason for having unique identifiers, such as DOB and SSN, on the warrant are so as to not arrest the wrong person which no one wants to do and could expose the police and/or DA to liability.
"If so, is there a simple way to find this online?"
None that I am aware of. The police have more tools available to find a person's date of birth than a private citizen does. They have access to DMV, utility, criminal justice
, and other records that are likely to contain a person's date of birth. I have never heard of a citizen needing to provide a DOB before charges could be filed. You may want to ask to speak to a NOPD supervisor about this. They should have ways to locate his DOB assuming you have an accurate name and address.
If he shows up this coming week and tries to simply return the car, what are my options if I want to pursue charges?
You can still ask the police and prosecutors to pursue charges if he returns the car, but from a practical perspective if he offers to return the car undamaged (whether you accept it or not) before criminal charges are filed, they are less likely to do so simply because (1) they have more serious cases (i.e., murders, rapes
, etc) on their plate, and (2) returning or offering to return the vehicle makes it more difficult to prove his criminal intent to embezzle the car.