Legalising a Zambian Birth Certificate

I was born in Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia, in 1959. I have both my original baptismal certificate and a birth certificate. As part of the process of moving to Europe, I have been asked to get my birth certificate legalised. As far as I can tell I have to first get it legalised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Lusaka, zambia and thereafter get it stamped by the embassy/consulate in South Africa of the country I wish to move to. Does anyone have any experience of this process and how it works?

Were you able to find out how to legalise your Northern Rhodesian birth certificate? Can it be done via a Zambian embassy or high commission?

Hi yes I did get it legalised. In fact I asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Lusaka to print me a new one and then to get it stamped by the Minister. Since I was moving to Portugal I also had to get it certified by the Portuguese Embassy in Harare in Zimbabwe. If you can explain your specific situation I can probably advise you

I was born in Kitwe, Northern Rhodesia in 1961 of South African parents and now live in South Africa. I am married to a dual Dutch/South African and we plan on living in the Netherlands for a year. Should I wish to apply for Dutch citizenship I need to have my South African birth certificate apostilled and my Zambian birth certificate legalised. My birth was only registered years later in South Africa when I was 18. I have applied at Home Affairs for my unabridged birth certificate, but while I wait I thought I should try get my Zambian birth certificates legalised. Will I have to travel to Lusaka?

Hi and sorry for the delayed reply. A  lovely lady in Lusaka helped me to get my birth certificate. Angela Nshimbi works at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Her number is  260 97 7725333. She got the certificate, had it certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as valid and then sent it by courier to me. I paid her for the certificate, her incidental costs, her time and of course the courier charges. Way cheaper than going to Zambia. Since you are Dutch, there is no Dutch Consulate in Lusaka. You need to courier the certificate to the Dutch Embassy in Harare. They will Apostille it there and send it to you by courier. Timing is critical as the Portuguese authorities will not accept a document older than 6 months. If you call Angela, tell her Nic suggested you call her.

Hi Nic, please can you help?  I have tried contacting Angela on the number you gave +260 97 7725333 and the person on the other end, says they know nothing about being able to help with birth certificates etc.  Do you know if Angela by any chance changed her number?  I am trying to get a vault copy of my husbands mother, born in Northern Rhodesia in 1945.

Hi Julie

Angela has confirmed to me that it was a once off favour to me. She is a private citizen and not able to do this. I was wrong to post her details here. Admin please can you remove my earlier post referring to the lady and her number. Julie you will need to contact the department I listed earlier in this thread or possibly engage a Lusaka based lawyer to help you. Sorry I cannot help further and good luck

Regards Nic

Oh dear.  Thank you Nic.  I will attempt to try with further departments.

@Lollyappelo Hi there! I'm in a very similar situation - did you manage to come right with this? I need to get my Zambian unabridged cert legalised but am a South African citizen and know no one in Zambia so it's quite a difficult spot to be in. Have emailed everyone under the sun it seems but not too many replies yet. Good luck with your search and hope to hear back!

Dear mjs453

I might be able to give you some advice but can you let me know what you need it legalised for as that would possibly change the advice. I needed mine legalised as part of my application for residency in Portugal. It involved the first step of the birth certificate being signed/stamped by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Lusaka, Zambia and then signed/stamped by the Portuguese embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe (since there is no Portuguese embassy in Lusaka.

Regards Nic
I was fortunate in that my brother travelled to Zambia on holiday. He took my Northern Rhodesian birth certificate to the Department of Home Affairs. My new Zambian birth certificate was issued within about 10 days. No errors in the document. The taxi driver who picked him up at the airport had a wife who worked in a government department, and he collected the certificate and took it to the Department of Foreign Affairs in Lusaka to be stamped. I provided him with a signed power of attorney and paid him for petrol and his time. It did not take longer than about a week.

My South African unabridged birth certificate took about three months, and my unabridged marriage certificate about eight months.

Thankyou for this post. Appreciate it.

@Paglaom Hi, I am needing my Zambian vault birth certificate or unabridged birth certificate, I live in South Africa, I was born in Northern Rhodesia in 1959

There are different ways to handle this problem . Ask SA if you supply the Zambian birth certificate will that be sufficient to sort out your SA issues. If it is a yes - ask a lawyer in Zambia to help you . He won't be expensive. Or ask to get a Zimbabwe birth certificate. Again from a lawyer. He won't be expensive.  Do a flat fee for the task, Good luck.

@annettegilfroy  the best way to do this is to hire a lawyer to do this for you. My experience is that endless emails and calls to the relevant department in Zambia do not work. In the end I travelled to Zambia to do it myself as I also needed to go to Zimbabwe to have the document notarised by the Portuguese Embassy. If you Google you can find legal firms in Lusaka who do this. Good luck!

@Paglaom please can you let me have contacts for getting vault copy of birth certificate from Northern Rhodesia

My email is [link moderated]

Thank you

@sharie Hello

To share your contact details, click on the member's photo and choose the send a message option.

Contact details should not be posted on the open forum.



I'm needing to get my father's zambian vault birth certificate. Would you be able to give me the name of the lawyer/firm you used to apply for you?

Thanks in advance,


@sharie sorry for the late reply. My contact is unfortunately no longer available. My best advice to you would be to contact a legal firm in Lusaka to do this for you. They will need to go to the relevant department to get the copy and in my experience the department will ask for copies of your passport plus that of your parents as well as any other supporting documentation you may have. The department is quite helpful. It is just impossible to reach them by phone or email which is why you need a representative on the ground to do it for you. Sorry I cannot be more helpful as I know it is a huge pain to sort out