Have you been putting off getting your Police Clearance Certificate, commonly known as Certificate of Good Conduct? Well, there’s no need to delay anymore. It is dead easy. Just come prepared and you will be in and out in a heartbeat.
This government office is super organized and super-duper efficient. Yes, REALLY! There is no need for a facilitator. Whether you are a Kenyan citizen or a foreigner, you must (eventually) apply in person because your fingerprints will be taken.
When you first arrive, the office may seem crowded and chaotic but actually, they have an ingenious and efficient system that keeps everyone in order and everyone moving and just seems to work. I was in and out in less than half an hour.
So, how does it work? First, make your way to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (otherwise known as CID Headquarters) on Kiambu Road- it’s open between 7am and 4pm. If driving, it’s usually pretty easy to find a spot to park outside the gate along Kiambu Road (and there are no city council fees to pay). If using public transport, take matatu no.’s 100 or 120 to get there.
For foreigners: the process is slightly different than for Kenyans. You have to come with originals plus copies of your passport, alien card and work permit (there are photocopy machines in this office but bring small change- copies are 5 to 10 shillings each). Be sure to bring your actual work permit; they do not accept the work permit stamped in your passport. If you don’t have a work permit, you will need other proof that you have been a resident in Kenya for 6 months or more. You will also need Kshs 1000 for the certificate fee.
Enter the main gate of CID Headquarters and take the road to the right. Enter the main building in front of you and immediately turn left. At the end of the short corridor is the Officer in Charge office. Present him with your documents and then just do what you are told from there. After leaving the office of the Officer in Charge, you will make your way through a number of clearly marked stations starting with getting VIP access to the payment counter.
For Kenyan Citizens: you will go to CID Headquarters with your (2nd or 3rd generation) national ID card plus a clear photocopy of the same and Kshs 1000. Enter the main gate of CID Headquarters and take the road to the right. Start at station 1 outside and make your way through station 5. It’s simple and clearly marked. Note that Kenyan passports are not accepted.
To apply online: If you want to make the process even faster, you can apply for your Police Clearance Certificate (Good Conduct) and pay for it online using mobile money, credit and debit cards. But remember, you will still have to show up at the CID for fingerprints. This will cost you Kshs 1050 instead of Kshs 1000. Start here
Certificate pickup: Of course, you don’t walk out with your certificate on the day you apply. Presumably, they will have to check whether your conduct is indeed worthy of being called good. You will leave with a receipt for pick-up and a date that you can collect it (don’t lose that receipt- keep it somewhere safe). For pick-up, you will have to return with the receipt and an ID. Go straight to station 6. It took less than 3 minutes to collect my certificate.
I hope it goes as smoothly for you as it did for me. Kudos to the polite, helpful employees that work in this office.
Not from Nairobi?: Kenyans may apply at any police station in the country followed by a Huduma Centre. Foreigners however, must apply at CID Headquarters on Kiambu Road – no exceptions (I tried in Thika and was sent away). My husband is a Kenyan citizen and applied successfully in Thika. He showed up at the police station in Thika Town, showed his ID and payed his Kshs 1000. He then took his receipt to a Huduma Centre and was fingerprinted there. The process was chop chop but period of time to collect the certificate is 3 weeks as opposed to 1 week from CID HQ.