If you believe that your nickname qualifies official purposes, you can use deed poll to officiate it.

If you like your nickname so much and would like to adopt it as the official name, it will cost you very little. However, it is not a guarantee that the process will go through. Change of names can be effected through the use of a Deed Poll. A deed poll is a legal document binding only to a single person or several persons acting jointly to express an active intention to change a name.

Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu, has just made his political nickname BABA YAO (the father of them all) part of his name officially.

Before applying to change your name, first make sure that the nickname you want to adopt is not hard to pronounce, does not include numbers or symbols, doesn’t include punctuation marks, is not vulgar or offensive or blasphemous. A nick name that doesn’t promote criminal activities and does not fan racial or religious hatred or any other factor stipulated in the Registration of Documents Act. These factors and others may lead to direct rejection of your application.

If you believe that your nickname qualifies official purposes, you can use deed poll to officiate it. You can change your name at any time and for any reason provided it is not to deceive or defraud or to avoid an obligation.

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For one to be able to change their names using a deed poll, they must be at least 16 years of age. A 16-year-old is however still a minor, and therefore, all that is required of them is consent, in the presence of an advocate, but the entire process is commenced by an adult.

Once all the legal requirements have been met, the applicant registers the deed poll at the Principal Registry in Nairobi or Mombasa. Nairobi offices serve the entire country as Mombasa offices serve coast region only.

The registrar shall after registration, cause the deed poll to be advertised in the Kenya Gazette. This acts as a notification to the general public of the change of name. A fee of Ksh500 is payable for the deed poll presented for registration.

A successful registration entitles the applicant to be referred to, and use the new names in his/her every day business. Sometimes, after name change has been effected under the procedure above, the person feels the need to reflect the change in their identity card. Under the Registration of Persons Act, whereby you need to:

Fill the form prescribed in the fifth schedule of the rules to the Act and present it to the Registration Officer. This form gives the particulars of the change.

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Be in possession of a combination of any of the following documents depending on the type of name change;

  • Marriage Certificate
  • Deed Poll
  • School leaving Certificates
  • Sworn affidavits
  • Confirmation letters from administrative office
  • Birth Certificate
  • Copy of parents’ ID cards.

You will be required to surrender the current identity card and pay a fee of Ksh1000. The registration officer signs a certificate in a form prescribed in the Fourth schedule to be issued to the applicant;

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 ID card.

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.




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