President Uhuru Kenyatta signed into law amendments that will change the requirements when applying for a National Identification card (ID).

The changes made to the Registration of Person’s Act will see Kenyans applying for new IDs be required to provide information about their location, land reference number and plot or house number as reported by a local daily.

President Uhuru Kenyatta signing a bill

In addition to the requirements for new IDs, the government has now the mandate to collect DNA data of Kenyans in digital form for personal identification.

“Insert biometric data … means unique identifiers or attributes including fingerprints, hand geometry, earlobe geometry, retina and iris patterns, voice waves and Deoxyribonucleic Acid in digital form,” read a part of the amendments made to the law.

DNA samples collection

Previously, the only things needed during ID application were place of residence and postal address while on identifying a person, finger and thumb impressions with the option of toe impressions in the event of missing fingers and thumbs, were required.

Collection of DNA samples is set to rest with the Registrar of Persons.

Registrar of Persons officials record details of a citizen

The approval by the President will allow the creation of the National Integrated Identity Management System, that will ensure that all IDs, refugee cards, birth and death certificates together with driving licences and passports are printed and distributed for collection from a central location.

Aside from the locals, information of registered foreigners will also be included in the government system.

As part of the system, the authority is planning the introduction of GPS coordinates for registration of person, to facilitate their tracking through satellite.