Since the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) started rolling out the new generation smart driving licences in March 2018, many Kenyans have been asking how they can acquire them.
The new digital driving license is set to replace the colonial era red booklet that has been issued to Kenyan drivers over the last century.
They will have details of names, blood type, biometric information, and offenses committed.
These licenses have been upgraded and are fitted with a chip, much like ATM cards that hold drivers’ information and a points system that is used to discipline drivers.
Each card has 100 points and points are deducted when traffic offenses are committed. If the driver reaches the threshold of 40 points, the license will automatically be cancelled.
The driver can only re-apply after six months, a regulation that amounts to suspension. The points system is used in countries including the UK, Australia, and Germany.
The unique digital driving license also seeks to eliminate fraud in the acquisition of a driver’s license by preventing the development of fake documents from the back streets.
The new smart card costs Ksh3,000 and will be valid for three years. After the three years, holders will apply again for new permits.
The new generation driving license promises to revolutionize how we approach driving and it is hoped that it will also have a positive effect on driver behavior.
In this article, we will try and delve deeper into the ins and outs of the new driving smart cards.
A collage of the old drivers' license and the new smart card
How to get a new smart diving license
To apply for these new driving licenses, you’ll need to register on NTSA’s Citizen self-service portal, the Transport Integrated Management Systems (TIMS).
How to register in TIMS
To access services available on this platform, you need to create a personal account. To register;
1. Open the NTSA web portal using this link https://tims.ntsa.go.ke/login_csp.jsp.
2. Both buyer and seller are required to register an account in order to transfer a motor vehicle.
3. Click on Register an account to input your details and follow the process to complete registration.
4. Make sure you click on Subscribe SMS at the top right-hand side of your screen to receive a security code and other notifications involved in the transfer of motor vehicle process.
5. After you have registered, use the link provided above to see the login interface.
6. Click on the Login Method to choose whether to use ID number for individuals and Username or Certificate of Incorporation for companies, followed by your password.
7. Key in the pop-up Security Code sent to your mobile phone via SMS.
8. Finally, click on the Sign In button to log into the system
Note: However, according to NTSA, all smart driving license applicants should first book an appointment for issuance of the document before going to their offices at Upper Hill office.
Here is the step by step procedure for getting a new smart driving license
1. Go to NTSA HQ
To avoid yourselves from going through any long queues you must reach the Upper Hill (NTSA HQ) before 8:30 am.
You will start from the ground floor where they will provide you with the date. After taking the slip from them you need to give the same slip at the information desk.
2. Confirm Personal Details
Log in to NTSA TIMS account with an NTSA agent so that they can confirm your personal details that even includes your blood type information.
3. Make Payment
The payment of Ksh. 3,050 for the new smart Kenyan driving license via M-Pesa needs to be made.
4. Biometrics and Signature:
You will be required to take a digital picture, and biometrics and digital signature are also taken by them.
5. Printed License:
Your license will be then printed.
6. License Validation:
The last step is definitely validating your license and then you are all free.
Features to look out for in the new generation driving license
1. Your Car ownership details, your number plate, and driver’s license will be integrated.
Your car ownership details such as your car’s number plate, your log book details among others will be integrated, and it will be possible for authorities and interested parties to access these details for various purposes.
2. If you are fined for a traffic offense, the new driving license will make it possible for you to pay up the fines through it, since the card will come bundled with an electronic wallet.
When a court finds you guilty, or when you do not contest a charge imposed on you by a traffic officer, the fine will be charged to your “NTSA Account” linked to your new NTSA driving license.
It will make it easy for you to pay the instant fines whenever they are imposed on you.
3. Your driving record will be available to employers.
One other feature of the NTSA new driving license is that it will enable potential employers to access your driving records.
This record may play a significant role in the decision to hire you, especially where your driving ability is important to the job.
Depending on how well employers embrace this system, it may also be used as one of the elements included in the background checks needed before you get employed.
Creative employers may use it in the same way that some are known to use social media profiles to get a sense of a candidate.
A candidate with multiple bookings and warnings on their driving license is a sure sign of future trouble.
The new NTSA smart driver’s licence and card reader.
4. Your driving record will be available to insurers
The new generation driving license will have the capacity to store your driving information, and as such, your driving history will be available to insurers.
It is expected that your driving profile will play a role in the determination of the premiums a driver should pay.
In this case, good drivers will be more attractive to car insurance companies and as such, they will enjoy lower premiums. If you have not lost points, have not been caught committing traffic offenses, then you will be an attractive customer to insurers, who will offer you lower premiums.
The key challenge that insurers may face is knowing how to associate each car with its driver. Car insurance Kenya policy is issued for a car and not its driver.
So policy benefits may be issued to a person who owns the car but does not drive it.
5. The cumulative point system will be used to reward or punish you are a driver
Your new driving license will have a cumulative point system which will be used to reward or punish drivers based on their behavior on the road.
Various offenses will have different levels of penalties. In this regard, if you disobey traffic rules, points will be deducted from your card, and if they hit a certain lower threshold, you will be legally barred from driving until the points are renewed again, after a set period.
In the same way, if you are a good driver, you will be rewarded by the accumulation of the points. These points will be useful to insurers and employers alike to assess your premiums and to assess your suitability for employment, respectively.
Note: If your current driving license does not expire for another three years, you will wait for a while before the NTSA gets to you to upgrade your license.
The NTSA will be focusing on those who need to renew their expired licenses so that those with some time left on their current licenses are not disadvantaged financially since they have paid for three years.
Therefore, if you took a license for a long period, then you may wait till its expiry to get the new generation license.
Note: Everyone should have received their new license by January 2021.
National Transport and Safety Authority
Hill Park Building; Upper Hill
P.O Box 3602 -00506, Nairobi
Safaricom: 0709 932 000
Telkom: 020 6632 000
Report corruption here:
NTSA county offices and physical addresses
1. NTSA Thika
Deputy County Commissioners Offices, Opposite Barclays Bank, Next to Kiambu Lands office
2. NTSA Nyeri
Regional Commissioners complex Nyeri, block C, third floor,Opposite the Nyeri Law Courts.
3. NTSA Meru
Angaine Plaza 2nd floor
4. NTSA Embu
Mugo House, Ground Floor
5. NTSA Nakuru
Motor Vehicle Inspection Centre along Nakuru Ravine Road near Show Ground junction
6. NTSA Eldoret
Motor Vehicle Inspection Centre along Police Line Road
7. NTSA Kericho
Kericho County Commissioner's compound, NTSA MVI Centre
8. NTSA Kakamega
Posta, KRA offices
9. NTSA Kisii
Umoja Plaza, KRA Building
10. NTSA Kisumu
Swan Centre, 1st floor
11. NTSA Machakos
Machakos inspection center,along people's park road.
12. NTSA Voi
Porters House, KRA Offices 1st Floor
13. NTSA Mombasa
IMAARA Building, 1st Floor, on Dedan Kimathi Avenue opposite Pandya Memorial Hospital
14. NTSA Garissa
KRA Offices, 1st Floor