If one lives in a society in which unique identification numbers (UINs) are assigned upon registration of birth and such registration almost always occurs immediately after birth and in which the UIN allows the individual to access the system of social welfare and services, it is hard to imagine that a person can exist without any state-recognized systematic registration process, but this is reality in many parts of the world. Whereas citizens of the developed world take registration of vital events such as births, deaths, marriages, and divorces as a matter of course, the births of millions of babies born every year around the world are not registered, and more than half of the deaths on earth are not recorded. The government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic requested support from the World Bank Group to help review its 2009 Family Registration Law in preparation for amendment of the law, which is expected to be submitted to the ordinary session of the National Assembly, VIII Legislature in April 2018. Accordingly, Korea Legislation Research Institute's (KLRI) Office of Global Legal Research was enlisted to conduct the requested research by comparing the civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) laws of four countries with diverse systems: Estonia, Ethiopia, Vietnam, and South Korea. The findings may also be of interest to other countries that are considering reviewing, amending, or enacting CRVS laws.