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Kenya - Apply for a National Identity

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  • The Department of National Registration Bureau was established in 1978 to implement and enforce the Registration of Persons Act (Cap 107), Laws of Kenya. The Act provides for compulsory identification, registration and issuance of identity cards to all persons who are citizens of Kenya and who have attained the age of eighteen years and above.

Apply In-Person

  1. In order to apply for a new national identity card one needs to visit the Office of the registrar of persons in your District.
  2. You will be required to submit the required documents TO THE OFFICER in charge when making the application. These document include a copy and original birth certificate and a copy of your parents identity card
    (a). You can also produce your school leaving certificate if you do not have your birth certificate.
    (b). You can also produce your parent’s death certificate if they are deceased.
  3. After submitting the required documents you will be issued with an application form number 23 to fill and submit back to the registrar of person’s office. This form can be found in any office of a register of persons and all District officers’ offices.
  4. Once you have the form 23, you need to fill it then take it to the chief or assistant chief of your area. This is for verification that you are from that area. After the form has been signed by the chief or the assistant chief, you take it to the district officer’s office for it to be scrutinized and verified. This is followed by signing of the form by the District officer.
  5. After that, the form goes through the following stages: Fingerprints section- The applicant’s fingerprints impressions are taken; Attachment of the passport photos. Then form is send to the officers responsible for processing of the national ID.
  6. One is the issued with a waiting card as an acknowledgement of application.
  7. You will use the waiting card to collect the national ID once it has been issued.
  8. The national ID takes approximately a period of one month to complete out.
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Required Documents[edit]

  1. Birth certificate or baptism certificate
  2. School leaving certificate
  3. Parents identity card
  4. Death certificate ( if parent is deceased)
  5. Two passport size photos

Office Locations & Contacts[edit]

Department of Civil Registration Services
Hass Plaza 4th Floor, Lower Hill Road,
P.O Box 49179- 00100 Nairobi
Tel; +254-20-2714987/8
Fax; 2714989
Website: link

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  • Citizens above 18 years of age


  • Free of c charge


  • The identity card is valid for a life time, and is only considered invalid after someone’s death or when one acquires another country’s nationality. This only applies to individuals born in Kenya, for foreigners, it is only valid when one is still country’s citizen (Kenya)

Documents to Use[edit]

  • Application form is provided at the districts registrar’ office
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Sample Documents[edit]

Please attach sample completed documents that would help other people.

Processing Time[edit]

  • Two months.

Related Videos[edit]

Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. 
Attach videos using the following tag <&video type='website'>video ID|width|height<&/video&> from external websites. 	
Please remove the '&' inside the tags during implementation.
Website = allocine, blip, dailymotion, facebook, gametrailers, googlevideo, html5, metacafe, myspace, revver, 
sevenload, viddler, vimeo, youku, youtube
width = 560, height = 340, Video ID = Can be obtained from the URL of webpage where the video is displayed.
e.g In the following url '' Video ID is 'Y0US7oR_t3M'.

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Please provide other instructions related to the certificate/documents.
e.g. The state office holds birth records since january 1908.

Required Information[edit]

  1. Full name of applicant
  2. Full names of the applicant parents
  3. Place of birth
  4. Home County
  5. District
  6. Ward
  7. Clan
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Need for the Document[edit]

  • National Identity Cards play an important role in the security, social economic and political development of the country through identification of Kenya citizens, facilitating voting process and promoting economic activities.
  • The department has evolved over the years from manual processes to a semi-automated registration system that issues secure national identity cards to all eligible citizens.

Information which might help[edit]

  • Registration Process
  • Positive identification of all persons seeking first registration is one of the key pillars of the identification process in Kenya. A lot of care is taken to ensure that only eligible citizens are registered and issued with identity cards.
  • All persons seeking initial registration are required to prove their citizenship, age and be positively identified by local National Government Administration officers (Assistant chiefs, Chiefs and Assistant County Commissioners) before they are registered.
  • Applicants in border and cosmopolitan areas are vetted by identification committees comprising local elders, Immigration officers (where present), Registration officers and local security personnel.

Other uses of the Document/Certificate[edit]

Please explain what are other uses of obtaining this document/certificate.
e.g. Birth Certificate can be used as proof of identity.

External Links[edit]

Place some external links which might help.
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  • There are four categories of applications for identity cards, namely:
  1. Not Previously Registered (initial registration). No fees is paid to access this service
  2. Change of particulars resulting from change of name(s) and residence which attracts a fee of Kshs.300 and 1000(Depending on the request).
  3. Replacement of lost identity cards
  4. Issuing of alien cards to foreigners residing in Kenya