What Is a Deed Poll-Changing of Names in Kenya?
We are all called and known by our names as a right. We are identified through the names assigned to us by our parents or guardians when we are born. This right is recognized by the Constitution, the Registration of Births and Deaths Act and The Children’s Act.
However, sometimes the names assigned to us are not the names we would like to go by. The law has created room for us to be able to change their names. In order to change one’s name, one has to complete a ‘deed poll’.
It enables one to also change other official documents like your passport or driving license. A deed poll is a legal document that proves a change of name.
You can change any part, add or remove names and hyphens, or change spelling in your identification entries, change your surname, or rearrange your existing names. You can legally and officially change any part or your entire name so long as you do that officially.
The following are the documents that one should equip themselves with before beginning the name change journey;
People may need to change their names in the course of their life time. This could be due to various reasons, among them:-
- Upon separation, women who wish to be known by their maiden name.
- People who have been using a different name from their birth name and who want to formalize their name change so that all their official documents and records show the name they have been using.
- Unmarried mothers, whose children were registered with the father’s surname and wish for their children to have their surname following the breakdown of the relationship with the father.
- People who don’t like their name because it is embarrassing.
- Upon marriage for a bride who takes her husband’s surname and wants to make their maiden name a middle name.
- Parents may also desire to change the names of their children, for various reasons as well. Most people are however unaware that changing of names is possible. Many of them believe that once a name has been given, it is there to stay.