What you need to know about Maisha Namba: FAQs

  • 3 Oct 2023
  • 5 Mins Read
  • 〜 by Maisha Namba
  1.   What is Maisha Namba?

Maisha Namba is a unique personal identification number assigned to every Kenyan citizen upon registration, typically at birth. This number will be a lifelong personal identity number from birth to death.

Maisha Namba will serve as the birth certificate number for newborns. It will also serve as the registration number for government services, including enrolment to educational institutions (NEMIS) and health insurance (NHIF), and as the ID number upon reaching 18 years old. It will also serve as a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for KRA and NSSF, among others. Upon demise, the same number will translate to the death certificate number.

  1.   What are the benefits of Maisha Namba?
  •       Promotes faster registration of births and acquisition of birth notifications and birth certificates.
  •       Creates convenience through access to an instant digital copy of a birth certificate.
  •       Provides a single numerical identifier, which can be used throughout an individual’s lifetime for government services requiring identification.
  •       Creates a secure, faster, and reliable identity authentication process.
  •       Enables the integration of personal identification information across government databases.
  •       Eliminates multiple instances of citizen enrolment and registration.


  1.   While issuing the Maisha Namba, will the government include applicants’ biometrics?

No, the government will not subject the applicants to new registration but rather leverage the existing data accessed from the national master population database.

  1.   Are the current birth and death certificates to be validated when the new system of issuing Maisha Namba starts?

No, the currently acquired birth and death certificates remain valid. If one loses the

certificate, the new application will be made digitally, and an e-certificate will be

issued, if preferred. 

  1.   What are the mechanisms for verifying and authenticating digital certificates? 

Every electronic birth or death certificate will bear a unique personal identifier that is

tamper-proof. In case of an error, the applicant can correct it by reapplying for another

certificate, which will retain the initially issued UPI. As a result, there is no duplication or

sharing of the UPI.


  1.   How can one correct errors on a digital certificate?

You can correct mistakes in your digital birth certificate by logging into the e-citizen

account and accessing an application for a new certificate with the correct details.

  1.   Will the birth certificate have an expiry date?

No, the certificate of birth will not have an expiry date.

  1.   Will a black and white printed certificate be accepted at service points, or is colour required?

Printed certificates remain valid regardless of colour as long as they are copies of the


  1.   Will the possession of a birth certificate confer citizenship?

A child is considered a citizen if, at birth, one of the parents is a citizen of Kenya.

  1. Will there be a payment for acquiring a digital birth certificate?

The regular fees for the application of a birth certificate will apply.

  1. Will I need to register afresh as a Kenyan?

A Kenyan will not be required to register afresh. However, the following new features have been incorporated to add value to your current identity:

  •         A Digital Identity to help you to transact digitally (online).
  •         Electronic ID with a chip – to load your data and use it for authentication and validation. 
  1. Will my current ID number become my Maisha Namba?

Yes, your current ID number will be retained and referred to as your Maisha Namba. The ID number will appear on the face of your Maisha card.

  1. What about Kenyans who were born before the launch of Maisha Namba and are still waiting to be 18 years of age (0-17 years)?

Registered Kenyans aged 0 to 17 will continue to use their birth certificates as a form of identification. Additionally, the government will generate and assign them a Maisha Namba. Once developed, the government can access their records in the master database and retrieve their newly assigned Maisha Namba at the point of contact when the individual seeks government services. The individual will then be able to use their assigned Maisha Namba for all services and identification.

  1. Will Maisha Namba negate the need for voter registration?

No, the purpose of voter registration is to document eligible voters who are 18 years and

above, along with their preferred constituencies. The Maisha Namba will come in handy

to ensure that voters are positively identified by linking the voters’ register to the master

database. This linkage will eliminate the issue of deceased voters. It will also assist in

cleaning the voters’  register, as all records of deceased individuals will automatically be

flagged in the voters’ register through the linkages with the master database.

  1. How inclusive is the implementation process? Has the government considered the unique needs and circumstances of marginalised communities?

The Maisha Namba is being applied to the existing Civil Registration (CR) system, which

encompasses all persons born and residing in Kenya, regardless of their citizenship or

social status. The system will incorporate a fair and relevant adjudication process for

such cases.

  1. Is there a plan to assist those with difficulty accessing the registration centres? Are there plans for mobile registration units and home visits?

Yes, the Maisha Namba will be assigned upon the registration of births and deaths. This

service is already being offered at the lowest level of government representation, i.e., the

sub-location level. Furthermore, countrywide registration drives and outreach services

will also be available.

  1. What is the difference between Huduma Namba and Maisha Namba?
  •         The rollout of the 3rd generation ID card will not require a new mass registration of individuals. Instead, it will enhance the capacity of the current civil registration system to issue digital IDs. The government will, therefore, not initiate fresh registrations for individuals, but will use the existing identification information held by various government agencies to streamline and efficiently deliver services. Individuals will be issued a digital ID as a virtual representation of their physical identification documents.
  •         The digital ID will not solely rely on fingerprint biometry like the Huduma card but will seek to widen the pool of biometrics in the national identification system to include facial recognition.
  •         The 3rd generation card will use chip technology to store individual data on the card. Chip technology is an advanced and more secure form of technology.
  •         The 3rd Generation ID card system will support web-based and offline identity authentication by public and private agencies. This system will, in turn, support digital

signature functionality and allow holders to securely log on to e-service platforms and give legally binding digital signatures.

  •         The Maisha Namba system will rely on data from the Integrated National Master Population Register. In contrast, Huduma Namba relied on a single source of data, the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS).
  •         Unlike the Huduma card, the chip within this card is a dual interface, integrated with electronic and digital signatures, rendering it compatible with any device equipped with the relevant software application. 
  1. Will I be prevented from accessing government services if I don’t have the Maisha Namba?

No, you will not be prevented from accessing services. You can access all government

services with your current National ID card.

Source: Ministry of Interior and National Administration

           State Department for Immigration and Citizen Services