The Cost and Process of Acquiring Customized Number Plates in Kenya

Application Process for Personalized Number Plates

The Cost and Process of Acquiring Customized Number Plates in Kenya

In Kenya, every vehicle on the road is required to have a number plate, which serves as an essential identification tool for the vehicle’s owner. These plates are issued by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) during the vehicle registration process. The design and format of the number plates vary depending on the vehicle’s category, such as civilian vehicles, county government vehicles, motorbikes, tuktuks, and diplomatic vehicles.

Types of Number Plates

  1. Civilian Vehicle Number Plates: These are the standard plates issued to privately owned vehicles.
  2. County Government Vehicles: These plates have specific markings to identify vehicles owned by county governments.
  3. Motorbikes and Tuktuks: These have distinct formats to differentiate them from other vehicle types.
  4. Diplomatic Number Plates: Issued to vehicles belonging to diplomatic missions, these plates have unique identifiers.

Customized Number Plates: A Status Symbol

In recent years, there has been a growing trend among wealthy individuals, including business tycoons, politicians, and celebrities, to opt for customized number plates. These personalized plates often feature specific names or initials chosen by the vehicle owner and serve as a status symbol.

The Cost of Personalized Number Plates

Acquiring a personalized number plate in Kenya is a costly affair. According to NTSA, the fee for obtaining a customized number plate is Ksh 1 million. This high cost restricts personalized plates to affluent individuals who are willing to pay a premium for exclusivity.

Application Process for Personalized Number Plates

If you are a registered owner of a motor vehicle with civilian registration numbers and wish to obtain a personalized number plate, here is the step-by-step application process:

  1. Eligibility: Ensure that your vehicle is registered with civilian numbers. Note that the process is not applicable to Public Service Vehicles (PSV) and Commercial Motor Vehicles.
  2. Visit the NTSA Website: Go to the official NTSA website at www.ntsa.go.ke.
  3. Access the Preference Service Portal: Navigate to the preference service portal on the website.
  4. Log In to TIMS Account: You will need to log in to your Transport Integrated Management System (TIMS) account to proceed with the application.

Waiting Period

Once you have completed the application and paid the required fee, it typically takes five working days for the personalized number plate to be issued.


Customized number plates in Kenya offer a unique way for vehicle owners to express their identity and status. However, due to the high cost associated with these plates, they remain a luxury accessible primarily to the wealthy. By following the outlined process, eligible vehicle owners can acquire personalized plates, adding a touch of personal flair to their vehicles.

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