Last year, I was driving along the bumpy Nanyuki-Rumuruti Road during a heavy downpour. On getting to Nanyuki town, I realized that my rear number plate was no longer attached to the car. Chances are that it got loose and fell off somewhere along the way. I decided to wait for daybreak to find it, nothing much I could do in the dark. The following morning, I retraced my steps, stopping to check every puddle with no luck. Chances are it was swept away by the heavy downpour.
If you have ever tried to replace a lost number plate in Kenya, you must know what a hustle it is. Prior to my experience, I had never really thought much about replacing registration plates. After all, it a highly unlikely occurrence unless malice is involved.
(Pro-tip- Check your registration plates every now and then to ensure that they are tightly fastened).
So, if you find yourself in a similar predicament and are wondering where to start:
Here is a step-by-step explanation on how to replace a lost number plate (vehicle registration plates) in Kenya:
- Get a police abstract– The first thing you must do is report that you have lost your number plate to the police, and get an abstract.
- Get a tape lifting report from the DCI– The next step is to visit your nearest DCI office and request a tape-lifting report.
What is a DCI tape lifting report?
Tape lifting is the process that the DCI uses to verify your vehicle’s chassis and engine numbers to confirm that the details match with your registration documents. They then write a report of their findings.
- Head over to https://tims.ntsa.go.ke/. This is the official NTSA portal where you already have an account.
- On the left-hand side of the page, select ‘Apply for Reflective Number plate.’
- Select the car in question and under operation, click on ‘apply.’
- This will bring you to an application form that looks like this:
- Fill out all the spaces, specifying if you are replacing the front or back number plate, or both (including the respective shapes).
- Next, upload the DCI tape lifting report, as well as a copy of your logbook.
- The next step is to make the payment, which can be done via Mpesa on the next page. Replacing one number plate will cost you 1,150kes and 2,050kes for both.
- Submit your application and wait. In my case, I got the replacement plate in two weeks, but it can go up to three depending on demand and availability.
- In the meantime, NTSA advises that you print out your number plate and fix it on your screen (NOT on your number plate holders).
- Lastly, and most importantly, carry this documentation (preferably copies) with you at all times, in case you get stopped by the police on the road. You will easily be able to prove that you are in the process of getting new license plates.