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Change of Name in Kenya

In Kenya the law provides the process and procedure of change of name. The Registration of Documents Act (CAP 285) read together with the Registration of Documents (Change of Name) Regulations provide the legal basis.

For one to legally change their name, a deed poll needs to be registered with the Registrar of Documents. The deed poll must subsequently be gazetted, and it is only after gazettement that one may legally take up the use of their new name.

For purpose of change of name, one will require;

1.The duly executed deed poll
NB in case of a minor the deed poll shall be executed by their parent or guardian, in the event the minor is over 16 years of age he/she is expected to consent.

2.An affidavit executed by a person resident in Kenya and who has known the person who wishes to change their name.

3.Letter from the area chief.
The deed poll is then registered with the Registrar of Documents.

After the registration of the deed poll, the change of name is then gazetted in the Kenya Gazette.

Once the change of name is gazetted, one may apply for a new Identity card and if a minor a new birth certificate, save to add that Section 14 of the Births & Deaths Registration Act (CAP 149) Laws of Kenya provides that a minor may have their name altered within two years of registration and the new name entered into the register upon provision of such evidence as the registrar may deem necessary.

Article by:
Stella Ojango
Partner,Head-Nairobi Office
sojango@gvalawfirm.com