Home Maryanne's Tales My Random Experiences Getting a Birth Certificate in Kenya – Part 1

Getting a Birth Certificate in Kenya – Part 1


Yesterday, I went to apply for Ello’s birth certificate. He is 5 months old.

I keep seeing many people asking what exactly the process of getting a birth certificate for a child is, and so I am going to chronicle my step by step experiences here so as to give everybody a rough idea of how it goes.

So yesterday, Thursday, I arrived at the registration offices at 12.10 pm. The offices are along Bishops road, directly opposite Social Security House. If you’re taking public means, take those ones that pass through ‘Community’ then alight at the main ‘Community’ bus stop. Then find Bishops road, and walk walk walk along it until you see a KCB signpost – directly opposite Social Security House. You’ll see many people going in and coming out of a certain gate. Get in through that gate – the registration offices are there.

The only document I had with me was Ello’s birth notification slip which I was given upon discharge from the hospital where I delivered him. The birth notification slip is pink in color.

Immediately I got through the main door of the registration offices, I headed to the help desk, which was on my immediate right. There, I found three officers who were helping people with inquiries. I waited for one of them to finish talking to a client, then I asked him where I needed to start with the process.

The very helpful officer asked to see the birth notification first, and after scrutinizing it just a little bit (I think he was verifying its authenticity?), he handed me an application form which I filled out. And by the way always remember to carry a biro with you otherwise you’ll have to spend a few minutes staring at people and twiddling your thumbs as you wait for someone to finish filling out their application form before they can loan you theirs.

After completing the application form, I asked the officer what next, and he told me to take it to counter number 6.

I went to counter number 6 and stood in line. There were about 10 people ahead of me.

As I was waiting for my turn, I began asking myself if copies of my ID and that of baba Ello were needed. I remembered that they were required the last time when I was applying for Kitty’s birth certificate two years ago. Though I had my ID, I didn’t have Baba Ello’s so I decided to ask the officer at the help desk about it because I didn’t want to stand in queue only to be told that the process could not go on until I came back with a copy of his ID.

After asking the officer about this, he told me that my ID copy would suffice. Now all I needed was to look for somewhere to photocopy my ID. Did this mean walking all the way to ‘Community’ and looking for shops that would do this? Oh dear!

Luckily, there is a man who photocopies stuff right outside the main entrance of the registration offices – still within the same compound. Phew! :)

The man photocopied the ID for me, together with the birth notification slip, then stapled these copies to the application form which I had already filled out. I paid him 15 shillings for this. I guess to save on that time, you can photocopy these two documents prior to going there.









So then I returned to counter number 6. I took my place at the back of the queue. This time there were like five people ahead of me.

When my turn arrived, I handed over the application form, together with copies of my ID and birth notification slip – which like I mentioned were all stapled together. I remained with the original birth notification slip.

The officer keyed in a few details on the computer and marked/wrote a few things on the application form. Then he tore off the lower part of my application form and handed me the slip.

He requested that I come back with it one week later- next week Thursday.

At 12.36pm, I left the building. The whole process – from start to finish had taken me all of 26 minutes. I was happy. Very happy actually. I hadn’t anticipated that it would be that brief.

By the way when I was leaving, I noticed that the doors were closed such that only people who were exiting were being opened for. I asked the security guard why this was so, and he told me that the doors close between 12.30pm – 2pm to allow employees take their lunch break.

Yeah, so that’s part 1 of the process. Very hustle free and smooth. Very clear straightforward steps and helpful officers to guide you. I will return next Thursday and tell you how it goes.

Have a lovely weekend.



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Maryanne W. Waweru is a Kenyan mum raising her two sons in Nairobi. A journalist, Maryanne is passionate about telling stories and hopes that through her writing, her readers learn something new, feel encouraged, inspired, and appreciative of what they have in their lives. Maryanne's writing focuses on motherhood, women and lifestyle. "Telling stories is the only thing I know how to do," she says.


  1. Very encouraging experience.
    So how did it go when you returned?
    Then would you know whether one can apply for it in Nairobi regardless of where the child was born?

  2. Hi Maryanne, I have my sons birth certificate, he has four names (long complicated story) and we needed them to either all appear on the birth cert or if not possible, to have one specific one appear as the middle name. We sent one of those “agents” to do it for us and he picked the wrong name. How do i go about changing this? Thanks.

  3. Hi Maryanne,

    In the photos with your article, is the person holding a copy of a Kenya birth certificate or is that the form you filled out?

    Also this article is Part 1, is there a Part 2? When you went back to get the birth certificate were there any problems or long waits?

  4. it’s great to hear such prompt services offered there.
    All hell breaks loose once you are told to go to Haas Plaza to either re-apply,verify or correct an error of the birth certificate. They are are very dis-organised,rude and lack the necessary skills required.
    I went there for verification of the birth certificate of my little brother on 14th January 2014 at around 12pm. To my suprise they had already gone for lunch break which is supposed to be at 12.30pm!
    At 2pm they came back,offered no help and asked us to come back on the following day.
    We dedicated that next day on that process. By 8a.m. we were at Haas Plaza;we were the first to arrive.
    The officers took a copy of the birth certificate and promised to help us on the basis of first come-first serve. But this was not to be. We stayed there all day long. Everytime being told to wait,wait,wait!
    The officers spend most of their time discussing politics and other irrelevant stories instead of attending to customers. They should be commanded to speak in English because most of their stories are in mother tongue.
    Am very disappointed!
    But am still praying for the best.
    Am very disappointed!


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