An identity card enables you to access almost all services in the public and private sectors. It’s the most common form of identification as it indicates your name, date of birth, gender, and other personal details.
The application, checking and collection of ID cards has been made easy since you can apply for and replace the ID at any Huduma Centre near you. You can also check for your applied ID status online at http://www.identity.go.ke/search.html or through sending an SMS with the waiting card number to 20031.
The following sections will help you with these procedures in detail.
How to Apply for a Kenyan Identity Card
The process of applying for a Kenyan ID card starts with knowing the requirements for this document. You need the following:
- You should be at least 18 years of age.
- You should have your birth certificate and a copy of the same. The birth certificate proves your nationality whether you’re Kenyan or not. With dual citizenship, people born out of Kenya can now obtain Kenyan National ID cards using their foreign birth certificates. The other reason for the birth certificate is to prove your age. Given that you’re required to be 18 years and above, the birth certificate will prove or disapprove of that. At times, a school leaving certificate is used instead of a birth certificate.
- Two clear passport size photos.
- Your patents’ identity cards and their photocopies. If your parents are deceased, you’ll need to present their original death certificates and their respective copies.
With these requirements, you are then needed to obtain an ID application form called Form 23 and follow the steps in the section below. The form can be downloaded here or at any office of the registrar of persons, or at the office of the District Officer.
Form 23 requires you to fill in the following information:
- Your full name.
- Your gender.
- Your date of birth.
- Your mother’s full name.
- Your father’s full name.
- Your marital status.
- Your partner’s name.
- Your partner’s ID number.
- Your district of birth.
- Your clan.
- Your tribe.
- Your division.
- The home district you come from.
- Your location and sub-location.
- Your constituency.
- Your village and/or estate.
- Your occupation.
- Your home address.
After providing these details, you’ll need to mark a checkbox that you’ve provided each of the documents needed for the application process. Your fingerprints and signature will also be needed with the date of the application indicated beside them.
Besides that, the details of the government officers facilitating the application process will be needed. These include those of the Chief, Assistant Chief, District Officer, District Commissioner, registering officer, the office of issue and any other officers involved.
Upon filling the Form 23, you should take it to the office of the Chief or Assistant Chief in your specific area. The firm will be verified and assigned after which you’ll need to take it to the District Officer who will also ascertain the details and sign it.
After that, your fingerprints and other documents are taken and sent to the relevant offices. You’ll then be issued with a waiting card with a serial number on it. This waiting card is an official document as you await your National ID. You can use in most palaces that require an official identity document.
The waiting period after obtaining waiting card is often 2 months.
How to Check the Status of Your ID
Once you’ve applied for the ID, the waiting begins. The good news is that you can check for it right from your smartphone or computer. The days of having to visit the Chief’s office with the hope of getting your ID are over.
To do so, you’ll need one of the two methods below:
For the online option, follow these steps to check the status of your ID:
- On your browser, enter the link http://www.identity.go.ke/search.html and press enter.
- Navigate to the national ID section and click on the ‘status’ button.
- Enter the 9-digit serial number on your waiting card then click Enter.
The status of your ID will be displayed indicating whether the it’s ready to collect or not.
Check Through SMS
The SMS option will cost you KSh 5 and may take up to 3 days to receive a reply. Follow these steps:
- Compose a new message to 20031.
- Enter the 9-digit serial number on your waiting card then send the message.
The reply will notify you whether the card is ready for collection or not.
How to Replace Your Lost ID
When your national ID gets lost, you’ll miss out on a lot of important services. These include government services and private ones such as making M-Pesa transactions.
To replace your ID, follow these steps:
- When you lose your ID, it to the police to obtain an abstract to the same. When applying for the ID replacement, you’ll need that abstract.
- You’ll also need the ID number of the lost ID or a photocopy/scan of the same.
- A passport photo of yourself. Often, this will be taken afresh when you report the lost ID.
- You’ll need to pay KSh 100 for the new ID.
You can make the application process for the new ID at the District Officer’s office or at the closest Huduma Center.
How to Collect Your ID
Whether you’re getting a new or replaced ID, the collection process is the same. Once you check online or through SMS and confirm that the ID is ready for collection, you can go to the office of the District Officer or Huduma Center to collect your identity card.
In some cases, Chiefs carry the identity cards to their offices for easier collection although that method is mostly phased out in most regions.