Update on Birth Certificates

The Civil Registrar will be conducting monthly missions to Kakuma and Kalobeyei to issue birth certificates for children born in Turkana West. Persons of concern can receive birth certificates during the missions to be conducted at:

  • UNHCR Field Post 1
  • UNHCR Field Post 4
  • UNHCR Field Post Kalobeyei

Please bring the birth notification (pink slip) and proof of registration with you.

For documentation regarding your business, including work permits, business registration and business permits, please go to Livelihoods.

Birth Certificates

Upon the birth of a child in the hospital, the hospital will register the birth and will issue you with an Acknowledgement of Birth Notification (ABN) which bears the; Birth Serial Number, Name of the Child (Optional), Place of Birth, Mother’s Name, Gender and Date of Birth. This is an important document that should be kept safely.

Health facilities (Hospitals, Health centres and Dispensaries) submit birth register to the County Civil Registration Officer in Lodwar for compilation and issuance of a birth entry. If the child is delivered at home, the Assistant Chief is informed immediately and issues an ABN. In the absence of the Assistant Chief, the information of a new born has to reach the nearest health facility for issuance of an ABN before the expiry of Six (6) months after birth.

The parent or guardian is later (after one (1) month) required to make an application for a birth certificate to the County Civil Registration office in Lodwar for issuance of a birth certificate. After six months, late registration would be done, however, it is better the parents obtain a birth notification from the hospital before then. For late registration, you will need to provide a clinic/immunization card or baptismal card to initiate late registration with the civil registrar. UNHCR helps with filling out the B3 form for late registration.

Kenyan birth certificates can only be issued for children born in Kenya or outside of Kenya where one of the parents has Kenyan citizenship. If a child is born outside Kenya, and none of the parents have Kenyan citizenship, a certificate needs to be obtained from the country the child was born in.

At the time of birth, it is optional to indicate the name of a child on an ABN. The name of a child is mandatory at time of processing for a birth certificate. Name of child indicated at time of birth, can only be amended or changed within a two-year period since the child was born.

Correction of spelling and other errors on the birth certificate can be done during the CRS birth distribution missions. To make changes, please present the birth certificate to a UNHCR Field Post with the desired corrections. You need to present evidence to convince the registrar why the correction is necessary.

What happens if my birth certificate is lost/burned/mutilated/defaced etc?

First, report this to the nearest police station and obtain a Police Abstract. Thereafter, inform UNHCR who will liaise with the Civil Registration to facilitate the issuance of a new document.

Death Certificates

Death Certificates are issued by the Civil Registrar in Lodwar. UNHCR supports the production process and delivery at Field Posts. To obtain a death certificate you need to provide the burial permit.

Marriage Certificates

Christian Marriages

There is no designated Assistant Registrar of Marriages in Kakuma. Couples wanting to have their marriage registered can do so in Lodwar at the Deputy County Commissioner’s office or in a church where the pastor has a license to officiate marriages.

To register your marriage with the Registrar of Marriages in Lodwar, you will need to fill out several forms for the Registrar and provide the below documents:

  • Valid Alien card/Refugee ID or a waiting card –Refugee applicants who do not possess Alien Cards must first obtain clearance from the Embassies of their respective countries (Kenyans require a valid National ID Card)
  • Two coloured passport photo size of each party
  • Both will have to swear that they have never been married before
  • Two witnesses
  • Fees:
    • 600 for Notice of Marriage – placed on Notice Board for at least 21 days.
    • After lapse of 21 days’ Notice period, parties are required to book an appointment on the online platform to appear for interview and verification of original documents.
    • Upon successful completion of the interview, parties will be required to pay a fee of Kshs 3,300/= on the online platform after which they will be booked for solemnization of the marriage – 30 to 90 days (30 days for notice and processing, marriage to be solemnized within 90 days).

The marriage registration process takes at least 90 days.

Islamic Marriages

To obtain a marriage certificate married couples need to:

  • Notify the Kakuma Muslim Marriage Officer(MMO) to register the marriage and issue a certificate.
  • Parties to a marriage must present at least one witness each before the marriage is registered. The witnesses will also sign the marriage certificate.
  • In the event of a divorce, an application must be filled at the Kadhi’s court upon which a certificate is issued after hearing from both parties is concluded.

Divorce Certificates

If you and your spouse are Muslims, you can approach the Kadhi Court in Kakuma, where you will be advised about divorce procedures.

If you had a civil or Christian marriage in Kenya, you can approach the Principal Magistrate’s Court where you will be advised about the relevant court for filing, whether at the High Court in Lodwar or the Magistrate’s Court in Kakuma.

Please seek legal advice because divorce proceedings are often complex. You can also approach RCK for legal advice.

Custody or Guardianship Applications

Custody refers to the parental rights and duties related to the possession, care and decision making of a child and is given by a court order.

Guardianship orders are issued by the court under the following circumstances:

  1. Where the child’s parents are no longer living, or cannot be found and the child has no guardian and no other person having parental responsibility for him
  2. A child who is displaced as a consequence of war, civil disturbance or natural disaster and has no care giver.

Custody and guardianship applications are made at the Resident Magistrate’s Court in Kakuma. UNHCR and RCK can support you with legal advice.


Convention Travel Documents

If you require a Convention Travel Document to, for example, attend a workshop outside Kenya, you will need to show evidence of an official invitation with clear information on dates of travel, duration of the mission and who will finance the travel. Convention Travel Documents are only issued to recognised refugees. The UNHCR Legal Unit will facilitate you to fill the application and certify the documents.

You will need to fill the passport application forms and attach the following documents:

  • 3 copies of passport photos taken in front of a white background
  • A copy of you refugee ID or waiting slip
  • Fingerprints rolled impressions for both hands taken on a government standard form REG 101 RA
  • Copy of proof of registration
  • Copy of invitation or letter of offer
  • Copy of ID for recommender, a Kenyan citizen

All documents need to be certified by a legal practitioner. The complete application is sent to Nairobi for processing by the Department of Immigration and facilitated by DRS.

Convention Travel Documents are blue in colour and resemble a passport in size and shape, with the words “Travel Document (Convention 28 July 1951) written in English and French on the cover. The inside lists personal details and holds a photograph of the bearer and contains visa pages. Manual CTDs have been issued by the Kenyan Government with a validity of five years. CTDs are for purposes of travel outside country of asylum apart from country of origin. CTDs are renewable upon expiry however, an invitation for travel is required for renewal.

Movement Passes

The Camp Manager (DRS) is mandated with the issuance of movement passes under Section 8 (o) of the 2021 Refugees Act. The movement pass is issued to travel for various purposes like business, medical attention, education, training workshop and family visits.

Starting from 22 March 2021, KASI offers self-supported booking only for Movement Passes at Field Posts 1, 2, 4 and Kalobeyei from Monday to Friday from 09:00 am to 03:00 pm.

DRS is issuing urgent movement passes on a case-by-case basis, for example, for students returning to school and urgent medical needs. If this applies to you, please approach the Camp Manager’s Office with the relevant documents. You need to plan your travel in advance as the process takes 2 to 3 days.


Certificate of Good Conduct (Police Clearance)

If you are under consideration for resettlement and the country you have been submitted to ask for a certificate of good conduct, you can write a request to DRS and attach the letter from the embassy and copy of your refugee ID. DRS will take your fingerprints and forward the documents to the Nairobi Directorate of Criminal Investigation to search whether you have been convicted of any criminal offence in Kenya. DRS will provide feedback to you.

Driving License

Driving License (DL) is issued by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA). Applicants will need to undertake a 4-week driving course at a registered and recognized Driving School and pass a practical driving test before issuance of a DL. The application process is now digitized, and you have to apply through the NTSA online portal. Successful applicants are issued with an Interim Driving License as they wait for their Smart Driving License to be processed.

Requirements for Enrolment:

  • Refugee ID card
  • 2 coloured passport size photos
  • Applicable fees for driving course, interim DL and Smart DL

See also

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