How To Legally Change Your Name In Kenya

We are all known by our names which are assigned to us at birth.

These names are recorded on our birth certificates, identity cards and everything that requires our names on them. But as we grow, some people feel that they don’t need some names. Luckily, the new constitution allows citizens to do so and below are some of the reasons why some people opt to change their names.

1. Divorced women who wish to be known by their maiden name only hence they want to drop their former husband’s name.

2. Unmarried mothers whose children were registered with the father’s surname and wish for their children to have their surname.

3. People who think their name is embarrassing.

4. Married women who take their husband’s surname as their middle name.

The following constitutional procedure must be followed to effect a name change in Kenya.

1. First, you Complete a deed poll prescribed as Form 1 of the Regulations to the Act.
(A deed Poll is a legal deed made and executed by one party only, especially to formalize a change of a person’s name.)

2. Then Make an application for registration which is prescribed as Form A in the Registration of Documents Regulations.

3. Attach your birth certificate with the Deed Poll.

4. 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.

5. The documents are presented to the Registrar of Documents for registration. There are only two of these registries. One in Nairobi and in Mombasa.

6. Upon registration, the registrar causes the deed poll to be advertised in the Kenya Gazette. Name change is effected at this point.

John Nyabuto

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