Government backtracks on proposed fees on ID and Passports

Interior CS Kithure Kindiki (right) when he appeared before the Senate Standing Committee on National Security, Defence and Foreign Affairs on November 9, 2023. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The government has backtracked on its proposal to increase the application fees for Identity Cards, Passports, and Birth and Death certificates.

In a statement, Interior CS Kithure Kindiki said that the suspension is to allow the government to collect more views from Kenyans on the proposal.

This comes after the Kenya Kwanza administration faced backlash from Kenyans over the move.

“It is notified for information of the general public that Kenya Gazette Notice No. 15239 of 2023, 15240 of 2023, 15241 of 2023 and 15242 of 2023 in the Special Issue of the Kenya Gazette Vol. CXXVNo.239 dated November 7, 2023, published by the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and National Administration relating to upward revision of charges, fees and levies for various services provided by the State Department for Immigration and Citizen Services has been revoked to allow more public participation on the matter,” said Kindiki.

The intended fees however are not going away as new ones will take effect on January 1, 2024.

“The State Department for Immigration and Citizen Services has been directed to conduct and 2 complete public participation as soon as possible, but in any case, not later than December 10, 2023.”

Defending the move to increase the fees Kindiki said that they are necessitated by Kenya’s debt. He says that they were informed by the need for Kenya to be self-reliant in financing her budget as opposed to borrowing.

He said that the new fees and levies have been adjusted to accommodate the views of Kenyans following the publication of the notice.

“On the particular issue of acquisition of National Identity Cards by previously not registered citizens, the Government shall defray the costs of the revised charges, fees and levies through a waiver for indigent Kenyans who demonstrate inability to pay.”

In the proposed fees it would cost one Sh2,000 to replace their ID in case of loss and Sh1,000 for new registrations which is currently free.

A change of particulars on the ID would have seen one part with Sh1,000 and a duplicate ID would cost Sh1,000 up from the current Sh100.

The ordinary passport (34 pages) that costs Sh4,500 would cost Sh7,500, the 50-page passport would have cost Sh9,500 up from the current Sh6,000 and the 66-page passport would cost Sh12,000 up from the current Sh7,500.

Replacing a lost passport would cost Sh20,000, compared to Sh12,000 which is what the Immigration Department currently charges.

A 50-page diplomatic passport would have seen one spend Sh15,000, double the price of the previous fee.