Prior to the enactment of the Birth and Death Registration Act Cap 51 of the laws of Zambia, birth registration was restricted to whites, coloreds and Asians. Any birth, therefore, which occurred before the 14th March 1973 and was not notified and registered, cannot be registered under the existing Birth and Death Registration Act according to Section 22.

The practice for persons born before 14th March 1973 has been to provide a letter that indicates vital details that would normally appear on the birth certificate without issuing the actual certificate.