How To Change Details on Birth Certificate in Kenya Legally 
Looking to update your birth certificate in Kenya? Learn about the online process, requirements, and costs involved.
In Kenya, a birth certificate is not just a piece of paper; it's a fundamental document that reflects one's identity, heritage, and existence. It holds paramount importance, serving as evidence of nationality, and is mandatory for crucial applications like national exams, obtaining a national identity card, or applying for a passport. However, there are times when errors occur, or legitimate reasons arise for changing the details of this significant document. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the legal procedures for changing information on a birth certificate in Kenya, whether you're a parent seeking amendments for your child or an adult with specific name changes in mind.
Changing Details: The Online Route
The Kenyan government has streamlined the process of amending birth certificate details by introducing an online platform, eCitizen, to simplify citizens' interactions with government services. Here's how you can change information on a birth certificate online:
Requirements for Online Amendments
- Parents' Identification Cards: To initiate the online amendment process, you will need the identification cards of both parents.
- Original Birth Certificate or Supporting Documents: Additionally, you will require the original birth certificate, antenatal card, clinic card, or birth notification as supporting documents.
Steps to Change Details on a Birth Certificate Online
- Log into your eCitizen Account: If you already have an eCitizen account, log in. If you still need to, you can create one as your first step.
- Navigate to the "Civil Registration Portal": Within your eCitizen account, locate and access the "Civil Registration Portal."
- Select "Application for Child Current Birth Certificate." Within the portal, choose "Application for Child Current Birth Certificate."
- Opt for "Apply for Replacement of Birth Certificate": As part of the application process, specify that you wish to apply for replacing a birth certificate due to necessary amendments.
- Fill in the Required Fields and Upload Documents: Carefully fill in the required information, ensuring it matches your desired changes. Could you upload the necessary supporting documents, please?
- Pay the Stipulated Fee: A fee, typically Ksh 180, is associated with the application process. Please make sure you make the payment as instructed.
- Wait for a Notification: After submitting your application, patiently wait for a notification indicating that your birth certificate, with the requested changes, is ready for collection.
It's essential to note that parents have a six-month window after a child's birth to submit the correct details. After this initial six-month period, the process for making changes may vary depending on the child's age.
Amending a Child's Name: Specifics and Limitations
Names may seem permanent, but provisions exist for changes, especially for children:
- Below Two Years: Parents can easily apply for name changes online within two years after the child's birth.
- Above Two Years: Name changes require a deed poll, a legal document that shows the name change.
Understanding the financial aspects of these changes is vital. Here's a breakdown of the costs involved:
- New Birth Certificate with Changes on the Father's Name: Typically, this costs Ksh. 100.
- Child Over Two Years Requiring a Deed Poll: If the child is over two years old and a deed poll is required, the cost is typically Ksh. 500.
Other Specific Changes
Kenyan birth certificates typically accommodate three names: a first name, a middle name, and a surname. However, there are situations where specific changes may be necessary:
- Birth Certificate Re-registration Upon Legitimacy: This is applicable when parents marry after the birth of their child and want the father's name added to the certificate.
- Removing Father's Name: In certain circumstances, such as when it's proven that the listed father isn't the biological parent, the father's name can be removed.
Changes for Adults and Married Individuals
Adults may also need to amend their names, especially after significant events like marriage or divorce. While the procedures may vary, the requirement for a deed poll remains constant:
- For Married Women: Married women can either adjust the particulars on their ID, primarily if adopting their husband's surname, or use a deed poll for the name change. Divorced or separated women have similar options, with the need for additional documentation to prove their marital status.
Ensuring accurate details on a birth certificate is vital in Kenya, given the document's significance in various life aspects. The government has introduced online platforms like eCitizen to simplify the process of making amendments. Whether you're a parent seeking to correct your child's birth certificate or an adult considering a name change, following the legal procedures is essential. With this guide, you have the necessary information to navigate the process and ensure your birth certificate accurately reflects your identity. Remember that a birth certificate is more than just a piece of paper; it's your identity, heritage, and proof of nationality.