Have you been wondering how to change a child’s name in Kenya? If yes, then read this to the end
We received this question from one of our readers: “How do I change the name of my child?”
The reader further added that the surname on her academic certificates is different from that on her National ID so she would also want to change that.
Now, to answer her and everyone else out there who is wondering how to change a child’s name in Kenya or how to change their ID names, we wrote this blog post.
Read to the end.
How to change a child’s name in Kenya
Now, for kids below 2 years, the process is very straightforward…
Just walk in to your nearest registrar of persons office (those offices where you go for birth certificates) and inform the officer you want to change your child’s name.
You will fill out a prescribed form, attach the old birth certificate, and pay a small fee then go wait (come check after 2 months maximum).
For an older child, it’s going to be more work.
Here is what you need to know if you’re changing the name for an older child..
How to change your name legally in Kenya -What else you should know
The processes and documents required when changing a child’s name are different if they are over 2 years.
In a nutshell, requirements depend on the age category (categorized as below):
- Kids aged below 2 years
- Children between 2 years to 16 years
- Children 16 to 18 years
Also, you might be asked to fill in extra documentation particularly if you’re applying for a name change for a child that you’re not their biological parent.
The thing is, it’s best to involve a lawyer for a child above 2 years- and, of course, your child will need to follow the normal process if over 18 years old.
To point you in the right direction, below is the usual process to change ID names in Kenya..
How to change name on identity card in Kenya – How to change your name legally in Kenya
In summary, the first thing you need to do is visit a licensed advocate- it is advisable to work with an advocate.
Of you don’t have one, you can ask for referrals about a good advocate to work with from friends and relatives.
Then, there are several documents you need to fill.
Bear in mind that the documentation varies depending on age (infant, older child, adult), purpose of changing name (e.g. child adoption, dropping your spouse’s name –for women, etc.):
To be clear, here are the forms to prepare and what you need to do (with the help of your advocate):
Swear a document known as Deed Poll
You first need to swear Form 1 (Deed poll) as specified in the registration of documents act, cap 285, 2010.
And it’s not just swearing an affidavit – your finger prints have to be taken at the nearest DCI offices.
Your finger prints need to be checked to confirm that you’re not changing names for criminal reasons.
Next, you will need to get a letter from your local chief (or any other legally acceptable person who is resident in Kenya and has known you by the name you wish to change from for over 10 years).
Just to add, even a relative can be your witness.
In addition, if you’re a married woman, you need to provide a written consent from your husband (stating that he doesn’t have an issue with you changing names).
On the other hand, if you’re divorced, you have to provide a Decree Nissi (a court order stating that your marriage has been legally dissolved by a court of law).
This is important: If the kid changing name is under 18 years old, the parent swears the deed poll on their behalf- but note that for a child who is 16+ years, their consent will be required).
A copy of the birth certificate and national ID (where applicable) will also be needed.
Your lawyer will present your documents- deed poll and everything else- to the registrar of documents offices for processing.
If the registrar has no objection, your new name is the registered and gazette.
Don’t forget that a change of name in Kenya affects all your official documents –not just your ID so it must be Gazzetted.
After the publication of your new name in the Kenya Gazzette, you will be free to go ahead and apply for a new ID at your nearest registration of persons office (check with your closest sub county offices).
You also need to apply for change of names on your other legal documents (it’s best to do so after getting the new ID).
How to change ID details in Kenya – Frequently asked Questions (FAQs)
Having looked at how to change a child’s name in Kenya and even how to change your ID names, let’s now answer some of the questions people frequently ask us.
How long does the entire process of changing a name in Kenya take?
In general, it takes between 2-6 months to have the requested name change effected especially when you use an experienced lawyer.
How can I add a third name to my child’s birth certificate?
Do a deed poll with a lawyer (just like when changing ID names for adults) then go to the registrar of persons office when it’s out and request to add the name).
There will be a form to fill and a small fee to pay but overall, it’s easier because names can legally be added but not removed.
So that’s how to change a child’s name in Kenya as well as change your ID names in Kenya.
As I have repeatedly mentioned throughout the article, working with a good lawyer (Check out Lawyer Wangu) will make the entire process smoother sailing for you.