An identity document (also called a piece of identification or ID, or colloquially as papers) is any document which may be used to identify a person or verify aspects of a person’s personal identity. If issued in a small, standard credit card size form, it is usually called an identity card (IC or ID card).
The Laws of the Republic of Kenya, Registration of Persons Act Chapter 107 Section 6, subsection 1, states that:
Every person who attains or has attained the age of eighteen years and is unregistered shall be liable to registration under this Act and shall within ninety days of attaining that age present himself before a registration officer and register himself by giving to the registration officer the particulars specified in subsection (1) of section 5, and for that purpose shall permit his finger and thumb or toe or palm impressions to be recorded in any manner prescribed.
This therefore means that it is illegal for anyone, boy or girl who has attained the age of the majority, or 18 years of age to go beyond the coming 90 days without being registered as an adult and acquire the most important document in the land.
You could go to jail by not having this document!
Actually, the ID seems to be the most important document in the land, or even across the world. It gives you an identity. It separates you from people of other descents, and gives you privilege to carry out works, and participate in the development of the respective society.
Just days ago, I came to learn that our collective Registration of Persons offices across Nyanza, have in store uncollected over fifty thousand (50,000) Identification documents/IDs.
Let’s put this number into perspective.
What does number 50,000 imply?
- It is the size of a typical constituency in Kisumu County. Actually, the uncollected 50,000 IDs is a whole voting population in a constituency. E.g.
- Kisumu Town East – 52,228
- Kisumu Town West – 50,064
- Nyando – 52,031
- Muhoroni – 52,349
- Nyakach – 47,769 among others around the country
- It is the size of a whole university student population, with all of its constituent campus put together per year, among other typical examples.
- 50,000 is also twice the number of all primary schools in Kenya
- It is more than eight (8) times the number of secondary schools in Kenya
Therefore, an ID is such an important document and whoever lacks it is missing out in shaping this country in one way or another.
What a better time to get an ID now than ever!
I remember many moons ago my first encounter with the nightmarish ID searching arrangement. A long process it was then, and a time consuming exercise. But now, the government of Kenya has decentralized the ID acquisition processes, the international award winning Huduma Centre’s had a role to play in this process. All the counties in the former Nyanza Province have Huduma Centre’s currently set up and running. It’s a one-stop-shop for all government services, including registrations. Apart from ID registration at Huduma Centre’s, one can also get this vital document at all the tens of sub-county offices across the region.
How long will I wait before I get the ID?
When one applies for an ID, he/she is issued with a waiting card. A form that is serialized and can be used for many applications one needs to get involved in, as the ID is being awaited on.
Back in the day, one had to wait for at least two months. But now, it’s all good story and smiles, as one needs only to wait to receive the text message asking him/her to come for the much coveted document, in just under a month from the date of application. That’s such a good news, right?
The next best time to get an ID is now, if you don’t have one!
Once in a while, there are delays in issuance of the IDs. It can be a fingerprint issue, or any other technical challenges. But, the registration bureau has made sure that these issues are solved amicably. Our recent visit to the Kisumu County registration centers showed us that very few people are actually coming to the centers to apply for new IDs.
Many a times, people wait for the political opportunities to drum up campaigns for this document. Picture this, this is the next best time for whoever doesn’t have this document to get one. Next year will be so fast paced, with nationwide voter registration happening around March 2017, therefore, anyone who doesn’t have an ID by February 2017, may miss out in registering as a voter, or even voting in the August 8, 2017 elections.
And if you have applied for an ID and it has delayed, the registration office has even made it easier for one to check the status.
To check the status of your ID card through a mobile phone you need:
- The Nine digit serial number on your waiting card.
- You also need to have at least 5 shillings airtime for the SMS charge, or a working SMS plan
- Draft a new SMS from your mobile phone
- Key in the nine digits on your waiting Card
- Send the SMS to 20031
You should receive an SMS confirmation indicating the status of your ID Card.
NB: There may be a delay in response, if so do not re-send the SMS give it 3 days before trying again.
One can also call the Kisumu regional office number 0572020463, and you will be assisted.