Communications Authority (CA) has banned the hawking of SIM Cards directing that the lines be sold only at designated shops to ensure registration complies with the its policies.

This was announced on Sunday by CA Director-General Ezra Chiloba as he clarified matters pertaining to the ongoing SIM registration amid confusion and lamentations from Kenyans.

“SIM cards can only be sold at designated points and no longer on the streets as it used to happen,” said Matano Ndaro, CA director of licensing, compliance and standards, said.

Chiloba clarified that a SIM card holder’s photo is not needed during the ongoing registration, saying they only needs the telcos to capture a photo of a customer’s ID card.

“The regulations do not require subscribers to submit photos of themselves during registration or verification exercise. However, records of subscribers must include identification documents such as the National ID, service cards for disciplined forces, passports and birth certification whichever is applicable,” Chiloba said.

He, however, maintained that the April 15 registration deadline remains and mobile users must confirm their SIM lines are registered with the authority or risk being disconnected.

Anyone who wants to establish if their mobile phone number or numbers are already registered can dial the USSD code *106# to confirm.

“If you get the message showing the phone numbers registered under your ID, it means you are fully compliant and don’t need to trouble yourself going to the queue to verify your information,” he added.

But he stated that in cases where strange numbers pop up under their ID number one is required to go to their service provider and give instructions for them to be deactivated.

Chiloba also added that those who don’t find their number among those registered under their ID will need to visit their mobile service provider’s center for fresh registration.

Safaricom has defended its move to take customers’ photos during registration saying it is only reinforcing security to tame identity fraud but Airtel and Telkom are not taking photos.

Prior to the CA clarification, thousands of Kenyans could be seen making long queues at various centers across the country as they rushed to beat the April 15 registration deadline.