In this article, we will take you through the processes of replacing lost or damaged identification documents.

  1. Birth Notification

A Birth Notification is essential document issued once a child is born in hospital. It plays a key role in the processing of a Birth Certificates.


In Kenya, children born in hospitals are registered and their details are shared with the office of the Civil Registrar for registration and processing of Birth Certificates. It is therefore important that all children are documented by the Government of Kenya. This process starts with Birth Notification.

Birth Notifications are also used when one is collecting their child’s birth certificate from UNHCR in Dadaab and in Kakuma.

  • What if the child is not born in hospital?

Birth Notifications are only issued to children born in hospitals across the camps. Children born at home have difficulties getting documents such as birth certificates. In Kakuma and Dadaab, it is only UNHCR and the office of the Civil Registrar who can facilitate the registration of children that are born at home. Members of the host community who have children born at home should seek help from the office of the Assistant Chief.

  • What to do if you have lost your child’s birth notification

If you have lost your baby’s birth notification,

  • Care (ANC) Booklet and its details will be used to trace the duplicate copies kept by the hospital.
  • Then, you will be provided with a copy of the birth notification.

If your child was not born in hospital and you lost their Birth Notification; report the loss to the Civil Registrar during their visit to the camp. Here you will be asked to:

  • Provide the serial number of the lost certificate for ease of issuance of a replacement. In cases where you are unable to produce the serial number, your child can be issued with a new birth notification by the Civil Registrar.


Image 1: A sample Birth Notification that is issued by the IRC at the Hagadera Refugee Camp Hospital. Source: Julisha.Info

All mothers are always encouraged to give birth in hospitals for their own safety and that of the baby. This also makes it easy for your child to get proper documentation.


  1. Birth Certificate

A Birth Certificate is an identification document that provides proof that one was born in Kenya. It mostly required when students are registering for National Examinations and when you are applying for a Refugee or National Identification Card when one turns 18.

If you have lost or damaged the birth certificate, there are key things you need to do to get a new one. This service is provided FREE of charge to refugees in Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps.

  • In the camps, you will need to visit UNHCR’s field offices (field posts) when the Civil Registrar visits to be assisted.

What are the requirements?

On your visit to UNHCR field offices once the civil registrar has visited, the officials will ask  you to provide any of the following:

  • A birth notification.

If you have any of the above, the Civil Registrar shall initiate the process of producing a replacement for the lost birth certificate. Due to the high number of applications, the replacement process may take a while.


  1. Refugee ID, Kenyan ID Card

If you lost your Refugee Identification Card or the Kenyan National ID, you are required to report to your nearest police station where you will be given a Police Abstract for the loss of your ID.

The Police Abstract Form is FREE of charge and can be downloaded from here.

  • What to do to get a replacement for a Refugee ID Card

Refugee ID card replacement requires one to present a police abstract, signed and stamped at their nearest police station to the Department for Refugee Services (DRS), formerly, RAS. At DRS, the officials will initiate the process of replacing your lost Refugee ID and you will be issued with a waiting card.

DRS provides these services to refugees for FREE.

  • What to do to get a replacement for a Kenyan National ID Card

Kenyans can apply for National ID card replacements at their nearest Huduma Centers or Civil Registry offices at their respective Sub-County headquarters. A list of Huduma Centers across the country, their locations and operating hours can be found here.

This service costs Ksh.100 at Huduma Center. On average, it takes 2 weeks to get a national ID card replacement request processed. You can always visit your application center to check the progress of your application.

  1. Proof of Registration (Manifest)

A manifest is a family factsheet containing details of members of a refugee’s family. It is proof that the family’s details are with UNHCR and the Department for Refugee Services (DRS).

  • How to replace a damaged Manifest/Proof of Registration

UNCHR is responsible for the replacement of lost or damaged family Factsheet and Proof of Registration (‘Manifest’) documents. These services are offered at field post offices in Kakuma and Dadaab between 9am and 3pm on weekdays.


Image 2: You can engage Julisha.Info on Facebook to learn more on how to replace lost Identification Documents:

  1. Ration Cards

Unlike Refugee IDs, you are not required to report to the police if you lost your Ration Card. Since December 2021, UNHCR stopped all replacement of lost or damaged ration cards at the Food Distribution Points in Kakuma. To replace your ration card in Kakuma, you have to visit your nearest Field Post for assistance.

In Dadaab, replacements for lost or damaged ration cards are done at UNCHR field post offices in Hagadera, Ifo and Dagahaley.

  1. Marriage, Divorce or Death Certificates

The process of replacing a lost Marriage or Divorce certificate is nearly the same as that of IDs. Julisha.Info has this guide on how to get a marriage certificate. You can also read more about documentation of divorce here.

  • How to replace lost, damaged marriage, divorce or death certificates

If you lost your marriage, divorce or death certificates, first report this to the nearest police station and obtain a Police Abstract. Then, inform the Department for Refugee Services (DRS- formerly RAS), Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) or UNHCR who will liaise with the relevant authorities for replacement.

  • What will be required for replacing a death certificate in the camp?

The civil registrar keeps duplicates of death certificates. If you lost or damaged one, you will need:

  • Copies of the death certificate or burial permit issued before
  • Identification documents of the deceased person with you.

DRS and UNHCR officials will directed you on how to apply for a duplicate death certificate.

  1. Movement Pass

It is possible to travel outside the restricted areas for refugees such as Dadaab and Kakuma but you will need a Movement Pass. A movement pass is issued by the Department for Refugee Services (DRS) for various purposes like business, medical attention, education, training workshop and family visits.

You can follow this link to learn how to apply for a movement pass in Kakuma.

  • Replacing damaged, lost Movement Pass

In the unfortunate event that you lost or your Movement Pass is damaged, you can report to your nearest DRS offices. The officers at DRS will issue you with a document called ‘Go-Home Visit’ in consultation with the officers who issued the lost Movement Pass. This will enable you to make your return trip.

DRS has offices in the following locations:

If you have any questions, please write to us via the Julisha.Info Facebook page, Monday through Friday from 08:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.