Kenyans to provide DNA, house satellite data for IDs

Some Kenyans wait to pick their IDs at Huduma Center in Kibera. photo | jeff angote
Some Kenyans wait to pick their IDs at Huduma Center in Kibera. photo | jeff angote 

Kenyans will be required to provide biometric data like ear, eye and voice patterns along with satellite details of their homes in an Interior ministry plan to centrally manage identification documents under a new electronic system.

Adults applying for state documentation such as IDs will be required to provide additional information about their location, including land reference number, plot number or house number.

The ministry is also seeking to introduce Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates in registration of persons, enabling tracking of their location via satellite capabilities.

Unique personal identifiers or attributes such as fingerprints, hand and earlobe geometry, retina and iris patterns, voice waves and Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) will be kept in digital form (biometric) and physical form.

The changes are contained in proposed amendments to the Registration of Persons Act of 2015 under the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2018 to the National Assembly.


In line with technical advancements, the proposed setting up of National Integrated Identity Management System will ensure all IDs, refugee cards, birth and death certificates as well as driving licences and passport documentation are printed and distributed for collection from a central location.

Other documentation to be managed by the system under the proposed amendments are foreigner certificates, work permits, foreign travel documentation and student identification cards.

The platform will also prescribe, in consultation with the various relevant issuing authorities, a format of identification document to capture the various forms of information contained in those identification documents.

The format will be useful in issuance of a single document, where applicable, as the new system is set to become a single source of personal information of all Kenyan citizens and registered resident foreigners, replacing principal registrars of persons and their deputies.

It will do this by creating, managing, maintaining and operating a national population register where each person will be assigned a unique national identification number.

Information from other databases in government agencies relating to registration of persons will be harmonised, incorporated and collated into the register.

According to the proposed fresh clause to the law, the platform will verify and authenticate information relating to the registration and identification of persons.

It will also collate such information and reproduce when required from time to time as well as preserve, protect and secure any data collected, obtained, maintained or stored in the register.

The proposed changes also seek to replace declaration on tribe and race with county of birth or residence.