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Kenya - Apply For Change of Name

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Often times, adults feel the need to change their names for one reason or the other. Fortunately, the law allows one to do so. Under the Registration of Documents Act of Kenya, the following procedure must be undertaken to effect a name change.

Apply In-Person:

  1. Visit the Registrar Generals Department and have a copy of the Deed Poll drafted.<br
  2. Complete a deed poll prescribed as ( Form 1 ) of the Regulations to the Act;
  3. Make an application for registration which is prescribed as Form A in the Registration of Documents (Forms) Regulations;
  4. The Deed Poll is accompanied by a birth certificate of the applicant.
  5. The application is also accompanied by a statutory declaration prescribed under the Act (Form 6). This declaration is sworn by a person resident in Kenya and who personally knows the applicant by the name they want to change.
  6. The documents are presented to the Registrar of Documents for registration
  7. Upon registration, the registrar causes the deed poll to be advertised in the Kenya Gazette. Name change is effected at this point.

Sometimes, after name change has been effected under the procedure above, the person feels the need to reflect the change in their identity card. Under the Registration of Persons Act, the process of changing the name in your identity card is as follows:

  1. Fill Deed poll on change of name (form 1) and present it to the Registration Officer. This form gives the particulars of the change. This form can be obtained from the registrar general’s office or downloaded online from the following link:Online
  2. Be in possession of a combination of any of the following documents depending on the type of name change;
    1. Marriage Certificate
    2. Deed Poll
    3. School leaving Certificates
    4. Sworn affidavits
    5. Confirmation letters from administrative office
    6. Birth Certificate
    7. Copy of parents ID card.
  3. Surrender the current identity card and pay a fee of Ksh 1000/=.
  4. The registration officer signs a certificate in a form prescribed in the Fourth schedule to be issued to the applicant;
  5. The applicant’s photo is taken for the purpose of enabling a new identity card to be issued to him.
  6. The Registration officer forwards the application form, the photograph and the surrendered identity card to the Principal Registrar who records the changes in the register of persons; and cancels the surrendered I.D. card.
  7. After the expiration of sixty days from the issue of the certificate by the registration officer, the applicant appears before the registration officer at the registration office specified in the third column of the certificate, and surrenders the certificate in exchange for a new identity card.
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Required Documents[edit]

Some of these documents might be required depending on the reason for changing particulars.

  • Letter from the area chief
  • Finger print printout
  • Deed poll and affidavit to which shall be attached certain requisite documents
  • An affidavit by a witness who has known you for at least 10 years
  • Two Passport size photo.
  • Birth certificate or Baptism certificate.
  • Identity cards of you parents.
  • Marriage Certificate
  • School Leaving Certificate
  • Sworn affidavits
  • Copy of parents ID card
  • Birth Certificate
  • Divorce Certificate
  • Parental consent to marriage

Office Locations & Contacts[edit]

Registrar General Department
Office of the Attorney General Sheria House,
Harambee Avenue
P.O. Box 40112-00100,
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254-2-2227461/2251355
0711 9445555/0732 529995

Registrar General
Department of Justice,
Co-operative Bank House,
Haile Selassie Avenue,
P.O. BOX 56057- 00200,
Nairobi, Kenya.
Tel No. +254- 2- 2224029/ 2224082/ +254- 733- 241111

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  • A Kenya citizen holding a National ID


  • A fee of KSh 500 is payable for the deed poll presented for registration
  • A fee of KSh 1000 for processing of new ID with new name


The validity as long as one is still alive.

Documents to Use[edit]

Deed poll on change of name (form 1) : Deed Poll

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Sample Documents[edit]

Please attach sample completed documents that would help other people.

Processing Time[edit]

  • It takes at most 5-21 working days to produce Deed Poll
  • Express deed polls processed within five to ten days
  • Regular service deed polls are processed within twenty one business days.
  • Sixty days to get a new identity card

Related Videos[edit]

Kenya - Apply For Change of Name - English

Kenya - Ombi la kubadilisha jina lako - Kiswahili
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  1. To legally change your name in Kenya, a deed poll needs to be registered. The deed poll has to be gazette, and it is only after that that one will acquire new identification documents bearing the new name.
  2. As a matter of practice, you will be required to furnish:
    • Letter from the area chief
    • Finger print printout
    • Deed poll and affidavit to which shall be attached certain requisite documents
    • An affidavit by a witness who has known you for at least 10 years
  3. The deed poll is then registered with the Registrar of Documents.
  4. After the registration of the deed poll, the change of your name will be gazetted in the Kenya Gazette by the Registrar of Persons.
  5. After gazettement of your change of name, you shall be required to apply for a new ID card.

Required Information[edit]

  • Old name
  • New name
  • Date of birth
  • Citizenship
  • Valid proof
  • Proof of marriage
  • Proof of divorce
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Need for the Document[edit]

Persons aged 18 years and above in Kenya are legally required to be in possession of a National Identity Card.

Information which might help[edit]

  • Change of names can be effected through the use of a Deed Poll. A deed poll is a legal document binding only to a single person or several persons acting jointly to express an active intention. With a deed poll, you can change your forenames and/or surname, add names, remove names or rearrange your existing names.
  • The law governing the use of deed polls In Kenya is the Registration of Documents Act, and the change of names regulations set out in the act.
  • A successful registration entitles the applicant to be referred to, and use the new names in his/her every day business most people are however unaware that changing of names is possible. Many of them believe that once a name has been given, it is there to stay.
  • For one to be able to change their names using a deed poll, they must be at least 16 years of age. A 16-year-old is however is still a minor, and therefore, all that is required of them is consent, in the presence of an advocate, but the entire process is commenced by an adult.
  • For a minor below 16 years of age, no consent is required from them, as they are still of tender age. For the change of name for a minor, the application has to be made by a person with parental responsibility, most probably a parent.
  • Where there are two parents, all parents have to consent to the application for the change of name. If a married person makes an application for a change of name, then their spouse has to give consent to the proposed change of name.

Other uses of the Document/Certificate[edit]

Apart from identifying one as a Kenyan Citizen, a national Identity Card is required to secure a place in College and in place of employment.

External Links[edit]

State Law Office and Department of Justice : State

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A Deed Poll is a form of legal contract that concerns one person (and it is only signed by that person). A Deed Poll binds the person who signs it to a particular course of action as detailed on the Deed Poll document. Deed Polls have one generally accepted meaning, that is, a change of name. It provides documentary evidence that you have changed your name and that you legally bind yourself to using your new name. It is a formal statement to prove that you have changed your name and it provides you with the necessary documentary evidence of the name by which you wish to be known.
The registrar shall after registration, cause the deed poll to be advertised in the Kenya Gazette. This acts as a notification to the general public of the change of name. The registrar may refuse to accept a change of name, if the change:

  • include at least one forename and one surname;

is impossible to pronounce;

  • includes numbers or symbols
  • includes punctuation marks
  • is vulgar, offensive or blasphemous;
  • promotes criminal activities;
  • promotes racial or religious hatred;
  • promotes the use of controlled drugs
  • ridicules people, groups, government departments, companies or organisations;
  • may result in others believing you have a conferred or inherited honour, title, rank or academic award, for example, a change of first name to sir, lord, laird, lady, prince, princess, viscount, baron, baroness, general, captain, professor or doctor.