Jail Term & Fines You Risk Facing for Having 2 Identity Cards

A photo of a Kenyan holding multiple national identity cards
A photo of a Kenyan holding multiple national identity cards

There are instances where Kenyans may find themselves possessing more than one national identity card (ID).

From making a second application due to delays in the issuance of a card to applying for a replacement after momentarily losing the original copy or rectifying personal details.

Some unknowingly commit a crime by keeping two identity cards and risk being jailed under Chapter 63 of the Penal Code.

You can also be charged with procuring the registration of a national ID by false pretence contrary to section 320 of the Penal Code.

A photo of Kenyan ID cards ready for collection at Huduma Center.
A photo of Kenyan ID cards ready for collection at Huduma Center.
Immigration and Citizen Services

This was evident in 2017, when the High Court ruled on a case that a Kenyan was accused of applying for an ID in April 2010, despite having been earlier issued with another copy. 

In a judgement delivered on August 23, 2017, a magistrate found the accused guilty of having two identity cards and sentenced him to pay a fine of Kenya shillings 20,000 shillings in default, of which he was to serve six months in prison.

In the ruling, the magistrate relied on Section 320 of the penal code, where she judged that by making a second application, the accused tried getting a document under false pretence.

“Any person who willfully procures or attempts to procure for himself or any other person any registration, licence or certificate under any law by any false pretence is guilty of a misdemeanour,” the section states in part.

It further details that an accused is liable to imprisonment for one year upon conviction.

On what constitutes false pretence, the Penal Code under Section 312 explains, “Any representation, made by words, writing or conduct, of a matter of fact, either past or present, which representation is false in fact, and which the person making it knows to be false or does not believe to be true, is a false pretence.”

The law, however, offers leeway to those with a justifiable reason to apply for a second identity card.

Applicants must state why they are applying for a second ID, and once a new one is procured, the old one should be destroyed in the presence of immigration officials.

In the 2017 case, the accused was found guilty of having his fingerprints taken without disclosing he had earlier applied for another ID.

“The accused presented himself for a second time without disclosing the previous registration and made another application,” a fingerprints expert working with the National Registration Bureau Headquarters told the court then.

File photo of Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi
File photo of Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi.
Judiciary of Kenya


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