How to Change Name on Identity Card in Kenya

Change Name on Identity Card in Kenya -
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Are you seeking to change the name on your Kenya National Identity Card? Let’s find out the ins and outs of the whole process below.

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Article 53 of the Constitution of Kenya, provides that every child has a right to a name and nationality at birth. The choice of name is made to you at birth by your parents or guardians because you do not have the capacity to make a choice at that time. Later in life you may realize that you do not like the name given to you. Maybe it doesn’t represent how you are, perhaps you have gotten married or divorced.

The Registration of Persons Act and the Registration of Documents (Change of Name) Act of Kenya allows one to change his/her name. Persons holding an Identity Card can change from one civil status to another. This implies a change of name upon marriage, change of location, or additional name.

The Registration of Documents (Change of Name) Regulations provide the procedure and requirements for changing names in Kenya. It’s advisable to work with a licensed advocate. There are several documents you need to fill out. Bear in mind that the documentation varies depending on the purpose of the change of name.

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Requirements and Steps to Change Name on Identity Card in Kenya

  • You need to swear a document known as Deed Poll (Form 1) as specified in the registration of documents Act, cap 285, 2010.
  • Your fingerprints have to be taken by the nearest DCI officers. Your fingerprints need to be checked to confirm that you’re not changing names for criminal reasons.
  • You will need to get a confirmation letter from the local administrative office.
  • If you are a married woman, you need to provide written consent from your husband stating that he doesn’t have an issue with you changing the name.
  • For married women where the marriage was not registered, no marriage certificate or an affidavit may be sworn as proof of marriage.
  • If you are divorced, you have to provide a Decree Nissi. This is a court order stating that your marriage has been legally dissolved by the court of law.
  • A widow who wishes to drop her husband’s name is required to provide their marriage certificate. (Including the husband’s death certificate)
  • A copy of the birth certificate and national ID will also be needed
  • The documents are presented to the Register of Documents for registration.
  • If the Registrar has no obligation, your new name will be registered and advertised in the Kenya Gazette.

NOTE: To Change Name on Identity Card in Kenya affects all your official documents. This means you will need to apply for a change of name on all legal documents.

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A sample of a Kenya National ID (Credit: World Bank)

Reasons change of name on Kenya National ID may be declined:

  • If the chosen name is vulgar, offensive, or blasphemous.
  • the name includes numbers, symbols, or punctuation marks
  • The proposed is impossible to pronounce
  • The name promotes criminal activities, racial, or religious hatred, or the use of controlled drugs.
  • If the name ridicules people, groups, government departments, companies, or organizations
  • If the name creates an impression that you have inherited a title, honors, rank, or academic award that you do not have.