Here’s What Will Happen If You Don’t Switch To Digital Number Plates

September 1, 2022

Kenyans once again find themselves with a deadline to beat and some cash to part with in order to comply with a government directive.

On Tuesday, August 30, the government officially launched the new generation of digital number plates as part of security reforms initiated by President Uhuru Kenyatta in the wake of the 2019 DusitD2 Terror Attack in Nairobi.

The new plates are inbuilt with a security microchip that allows law enforcement agencies to track car ownership.

Interior CS Fred Matiang’i gave Kenyan motorists 18 months to ensure they have switched to digital plates.

“The capability allows us to change the country’s 4.8 million vehicles to the new generation plates but that has been extended to a period of 18 months. When the NTSA team calls on Kenyans to change the plates, let us obey and get it done within those 18 months,” the CS said.

“Ideally, we could have taken 12 months to complete this process as we can change number plates in a year but Kenyans do not want to be harassed so maybe we can do so in the next 18 months,” Matiang’i added.

The Sh3000 fee attached to the switch has of course caused some grumbling among Kenyan internet users. Some have vowed to defy the directive while asking what’s the worst that could happen.

Well, the government has imposed a fine and a jail term for motorists who fail to apply for the new digital number plate in the next 18 months.

According to the amended Traffic Act of 2016, defiant motorists risk a Sh20,000 fine or a jail term of six months.

“Any person who contravenes any of the provisions in the traffic rules, which no specific penalty is provided, is liable for a fine not exceeding Sh20,000 or imprisonment for six months or both,” states the Traffic Act.

The rollout of the digital plates will begin with newly registered vehicles from the ‘KDK’ series while the replacement of the old plates is expected to start on October 1, 2022.

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