The Kenyan Constitution was promulgated in August 2010, and every citizen of the East African country is entitled to a variety of freedoms and rights; one of them being the right to Citizenship as per Chapter 3, which articulates for the issuance of registration documents, like birth certificate, to children born in Kenya.
Further, Article 7 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child demands a name and nationality for every child immediately after birth. This is reflected in The Kenya Children Act 2001.
At birth, naming is undertaken by parents who give names of choice to their babies. But when they grow older, circumstances may prompt them to adopt names of choice and add maybe nicknames to their official identification details.
Also, one may change their name when they convert from their previous religion. Some women also change their names after marriage.
These are allowed in the laws of Kenya, and the name-changing process is governed by the Registration of Persons Act and Registration of Documents – statutes in the Kenyan constitution.
However, your desired name will be rejected by the Registrar of Persons if it is difficult to pronounce, vulgar and inciteful to the public or authority. Additionally, applicants who wish to add titles that they are not conferred with are denied changing their names legally.
Documents required for changing your name in Kenya
* Deed Poll – a legal document that proves consent of changing names
* Sworn declaration from a person who has known you for over ten years
* Birth certificate
* Parents’ ID cards
* Two passport size photographs
* Marriage/divorce certificates, if you have one
* Official communication from your area chief through a letter
How to change your name in Kenya
With all documents set, you can proceed to change your name in the following steps:
1. Visit Registrar Generals Department and get a Deed Poll (Form 1) at Ksh500
2. Fill in the Deed Poll with the required details
3. You will be required to make an application for another registration document, Form A, in the Registration of Documents (Forms) Regulations
4. Submit the Deed Poll and your birth certificate alongside the sworn affidavit from your acquaintance who knows you well to the Registrar of Documents
5. The Registrar of Documents will check if your new name meets the criteria before publishing it in a Kenyan Gazette
If your proposed name meets the required standards, the name change is effected.
How much does it cost to change a name in Kenya?
It costs Ksh500. This is paid to the Registrar Generals Department upon issuing a draft of the Deed Poll.
Can you change your birth certificate name in Kenya?
Yes, it is possible to change birth certificate names, but adults are limited to only amending their previous name if there was a spelling error or adding a new name to the already existing names. You cannot entirely change your name.
But for minors under the age of 2, their names can be altered for new names, with their parents making the application.
Amending of names in the birth certificate is done by a physical application at The Civil Registration Services (CRS) offices or Huduma Centres located countrywide. One can also make an online application through e-Citizen.
How can you change or correct birth certificate names in Kenya?
1. Visit The Civil Registration Services (CRS) offices and get an application form from the birth certificates care desk
2. Complete the form with the required details, indicating the changes needed to be made
3. Attach your previous birth certificate and ID with the filled application form
4. Pay a processing fee of Ksh180
5. Submit the documents alongside a receipt of payment to the CRS
6. Your documents will be verified and taken to the Registrar of Persons for processing
Your birth certificate will be modified, and you will be asked to collect it once it is ready.
The physical application might be burdensome as it requires much funding, especially when The Civil Registration Services (CRS) office is far from your area of residence. For this, an online application might suit you, and here is how to change your birth certificate name online via e-Citizen:
1. Visit https://www.ecitizen.go.ke/ and sign in if you have an account. You can register one of you are a first-time user.
2. Navigate to ‘Civil Registration Department’ and click ‘Get Service’
3. On the CRS page, choose ‘Make Application’
4. Select ‘Birth Certificate’ and choose whether it’s your own application or your child’s
5. Click ‘Apply Now’ then ‘New BC’ and read the requirements before proceeding with the application
6. If you selected ‘Application for CHILD Current Birth Certificate,’ proceed to state whether he/she was born in a health facility
7. You will be asked, ‘Do you want to amend the child’s name?’ Reply YES on the drop-box menu
8. Enter the name of the child as it appears in the current birth certificate
9. Enter the new name of the child
10. Click continue to upload supporting documents – parents’ IDs – and state the preferred pick-up location for your new birth certificate
11. Review the submitted details and proceed to pay the application fee of Ksh180 via a mobile wallet or bank
12. Submit the application
The application will be reviewed, and its status will be visible on the Civil Registration Services dashboard.
Once it is approved, you can download the receipt that contains the date to collect your new birth certificate at your selected location.