What's in a name? Everything! Very often the first piece of information we have about a person is their name and we form judgments about people very rapidly.  And those judgments accumulate, so the first piece of information is especially important.  
Whatever reason you have to change your name, you can do it! 
Here's how you can go about legally changing your name in Kenya:
1) Visit the Registrar Generals Department and have a copy of the Deed Poll drafted. READ MORE HERE
(Note: It takes at most 5-21 working days to produce Deed Poll)
A fee of KSh 500 is payable for the deed poll presented for registration.
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;
5) The Deed Poll is accompanied by a birth certificate of the applicant.
6) 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.
7) The documents are presented to the Registrar of Documents for registration.
8) Upon registration, the registrar causes the deed poll to be advertised in the Kenya Gazette.
The name change is effected at this point. Yay!
Documents to carry with you depending on the reason for changing particulars:
  1. a) Letter from the area chief
  2. b) Fingerprint printout
  3. c) Deed poll and affidavit to which shall be attached certain requisite documents
  4. d) An affidavit by a witness who has known you for at least 10 years
  5. e) Two Passport size photos
  6. f) Birth certificate or Baptism certificate.
  7. g) Identity cards of your parents.
  8. h) Marriage Certificate
  9. i) School Leaving Certificate
  10. j) Sworn affidavits
  11. k) Copy of parents ID card 
  12. l) Birth Certificate
  13. m) Divorce Certificate
  14. n) Parental consent to marriage
How to change your name in the Identity Card (ID)
Under the Registration of Persons Act Kenya, 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.
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 an 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.
If you'd like a one-on-one consultation with an expert, visit the Registrar General Department Kenya  office along Harambee Avenue Nairobi.
Call 0711 9445555 or email communications@ag.go.ke

About The Author

Maureen Kasuku

Maureen is our resident cat lady and Beyoncé stan. She writes about spas, brunch and ballet recitals but has never been to any. Moonlights as a social justice activist in her spare time. She knows things and is obnoxiously opinionated on the internet but not in real life

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