The Kenyan government has introduced new-generation vehicle registration plates to combat fraud, swapping, and duplication. The old plates are set to be phased out within 18 months, and the new plates are already becoming a common sight on Kenyan roads.

The new plates feature a “cooler” design with a smaller FE-Schrift typeface and monospaced letters and numbers that are slightly disproportionate to prevent easy modification and improve machine readability. They also incorporate microchip technology and several anti-counterfeit security features, including a specially-imprinted national flag, a hologram of the Big Five animals, and a watermark. The plates have unique and different serial numbers for both the rear and front plates that are linked to the vehicle’s chassis number.

In addition to being difficult to forge, the new plates also provide important information about the vehicle. Police can access information such as the year of manufacture, type and color of vehicle, engine number, transmission type, date and place of manufacture, and insurance details from just the plates. The plates will be fixed to vehicles at the point of entry into the country, and information about them will be synchronized with NTSA and Kenya Revenue Authority systems to curb tax evasion in the car import business.

To acquire the new plates, motorists can visit the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) portal and apply for reflective plates. They will need to upload copies of their original logbook and old license plates, select their preferred method of being notified, choose a number plate format, select their collection center, pay the Ksh.3,050 fee, and confirm. Once the plates are ready, motorists will receive a notification to collect them at their chosen center, and they can expect to receive them in about a week.

The new-generation vehicle registration plates in Kenya are a significant step forward in preventing fraud and improving vehicle information access. The incorporation of microchip technology and several anti-counterfeit security features make them practically impossible to imitate, and the ability to access vehicle information from the plates alone will streamline the process of identifying and tracking vehicles.