New high-tech number plates to be rolled out July


Motorists will pay Sh4,000 for the new number plates. PHOTO | FILE

New generation number plates fitted with microchips bearing vehicle data are set to be rolled out beginning July 1.

The ministry of Transport and Infrastructure said on Tuesday that the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) would introduce the new number plates at the start of the new fiscal year.

“NTSA is set to roll out the new generation licence plates as of July 1,” the ministry said through its Twitter account.

The high-tech number plates will be fitted with microchips to store data on the car’s chassis number, the owner’s personal identification number, contacts and past traffic offences.

The plates can be scanned by traffic police using chip-readers from a distance of up to 100 metres. They will utilise radio frequency identification (RFID) to wirelessly transfer for automatic identification and tracking.

Motorists will pay Sh4,000 for the new number plates, up from the current Sh2,000, while motorcyclists will pay Sh2,500.

READ: Motorists set to pay road tax with smart number plate

Regulations guiding the new registration measures, which were released last month, indicate that besides the metal plates on the front and rear, every vehicle will also be expected to have a third licence identification (a sticker placed on the windscreen).

“The third identification plate (sticker) will bear the motor vehicle’s registration and ownership, tax and insurance validation, highway vignettes and other compliance and validation requirements.”

Highway vignettes are road charges paid over a period of time, normally 12 months.

The inclusion of the vignettes in the sticker indicates that the government is seeking to introduce an annual road tax, five years after it abolished the annual road licence fee in preference for a fuel tax.

Official data indicates that a total of 102,606 vehicles and 115,451 motorcycles were registered in 2014 respectively. Kenya has about two million cars on its roads.

Plates fitted with microchips have been used in other countries especially to find vehicles that are reported stolen.