Can I drive a Car in Kenya with Foreign Number Plates?


Can I drive a Car in Kenya with Foreign Number Plates?

“I want to export my car from USA to Kenya but I am not sure whether the Kenyan authority will allow me to drive my car on the Kenyan roads. The car is brand new and I would prefer to use it for two weeks before I dispose it.Is it possible I drive while I am looking for a client?”


No.If you are found driving a car with foreign number plates without permission, you will be arrested. According to KRA,which is responsible for issuing number plates, anyone driving a car with foreign number plates is arrested and charged for violating traffic rules.

The following notice from the taxman states:



It is notified for general information and necessary action that it is illegal to drive unregistered motor vehicles on Kenyan roads by Kenyan citizens and unauthorized persons.

The only foreign registered motor vehicles authorized to be driven on Kenyan roads are the following: –

  • 1)  Transit vehicles cleared by the Customs and being driven on gazetted transit routes on their way to foreign destination. This category of vehicles must be driven to destination within 15 days from the date of transit entry unless the transit period is validly extended.
  • 2)  Motor vehicles which are foreign registered and are licensed to convey transit goods through Kenya. These vehicles must have a valid transit goods license for the calendar year. They must be boldly marked “TRANSIT GOODS” on each side of the body of the vehicle.
  • 3)  Motor vehicles which are imported on temporary basis for the use and convenience of the importer either from our neighboring states in which case they must have a valid form C44A and a Foreign Motor Vehicle Permit both specifying the period of stay in Kenya. Foreign registered motor vehicles imported on temporary basis from other countries for the convenience of the importer must be covered by a Carnet de Passage en Douane issued by a recognized Automobile Association, or Form C.44 and duties secured by a cash deposit or bond security. This category of motor vehicles must be re-exported within 12 months of the date of importation or before expiry of the period specified in the Carnet de Passage en Douane or on Form C44.

Foreign registered motor vehicles outside the above categories should not be driven on our roads. Similarly transit vehicles should be driven only on gazetted routes. It is illegal to drive un-registered vehicles on our roads as the same shall be deemed to be uncustomed.

The public is warned that it is also illegal to affix un-official number plates reading EX-GK, EX-MILITARY OR EX-WHATEVER and vehicles found with such illegal registrations will be seized and removed from our roads. Anybody wishing to take advantage of the tax amnesty is welcome to do so before 31st December 2004 to regularize illegal registrations.

Kenya Revenue Authority and other law enforcement officers will roundup all un-registered vehicles and ensure that they are completely removed from our roads.

If you have a new car you want to export to Kenya, make sure you obtain permission from the National Transport and Safety Authority. The permission will allow you to drive as you wait to receive the number plates from KRA.