All vehicles will be expected to have new-look number plates which contain security features by the end of the year, the government has said.
Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau on Monday said the equipment to be used in the manufacturing of the new number plates is expected to arrive in the country by mid-next month.
“Production of the new-look number plates is expected to begin immediately the equipment for manufacturing them arrive from Germany by mid next month,” he said.
ENGRAVED WITH MICROCHIPS
The cost of converting the plates will be Sh2,000 which is the current cost of buying a new pair but this will come with an additional fitting for the windscreen.
“We do not have to increase the burden on our motorists and they will get enough time to make the adjustments,” the minister said.
The new-look number plates will be engraved with microchips containing the security features of the vehicles.
Those interested in having special number plates will be required to pay Sh1 million and Mr Kamau said the figure could even be more.
Engines form part of the security details to be contained in the microchip and motorists who would want to change their car engines will have to make the same alterations with the registrar of vehicles who will in turn adjust the security features of the number plates to reflect the same.
This, the minister said, will help in tracking the vehicles. “It will be difficult for somebody to just interchange the number plates because police officers will be able to easily detect it,” he added.
He also warned rogue vehicle owners against using their vehicles as collateral when borrowing loans only to change registration and dodge repayment.
“It has been happening in the past but those are some of the things the security features will bring to an end,” he said.
“If decide to issue just a hundred such number plates and more people are interested then we shall be forced to go the auction way,” he said.
The government had approved the manufacturing of the new-look number plates in 2006 and Mr Kamau attributed government procedures to the delay.
Meanwhile, night travel could resume in the next few weeks with some three bus companies on the verge of being allowed to conduct the business.
Mr Kamau said the three companies, which he did not name, have formally applied for the license to ferry passengers at night and that the ministry is winding up their inspection of the companies’ fleets.
“Their buses already have a tracking system and we are still doing a few inspections before we can grant them the license,” he said.