There roll out of the new generation driving license in Kenya is causing a lot of excitement among drivers and in the transport sector in general. This is because the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) is all set to roll out the Smart Driving Licence to replace the colonial era red booklet that has been issued to Kenyan drivers over the last century.
The NTSA New Driving License will bring Kenya at par with most of her neighbors in regards to the look and design of the driving license. As a driver, here are some of the things you need to know about Kenya New Driving License.
10 Things You Must Know About New Generation Driving License Kenya
1. It will cost you Kshs 3000 to get the new driving license
There will be a cost to you to acquire the new license. The new license will set you back by Kshs 3000. The basis for this figure has not been discussed and is sure to stir some controversy in the coming months, just like the Kshs 50 convenience fee that those who renew their licenses online have been paying (see press-add link).
NTSA new Driving License looks like a smart version of the national Id, with an embedded chip similar to ATM cards, and supermarket loyalty cards. Commercial banks usually renew ATMs at about Kshs 400. Why should the NTSA charge Kshs 3000 for the new generation driving license, which is essentially a smart card? An explanation from the NTSA will be in order.
Related – NTSA Driving Licence Renewal in Kenya
2. The priority will be given to those who are coming from Driving Schools and PSV Drivers
The NTSA has stated that all new drivers entering the roads from January 2018 will be issued with the Ntsa Digital Driving License. The authority has also done away with the provisional driving license which was issued previously to new drivers awaiting their licenses. In addition, the NTSA is also prioritizing PSV drivers for the first phase of renewals running from January 2018. This must be motivated by the relative ease of implementing the change within the PSV sector, since there are many regulatory touch points that the NTSA can use to enforce compliance.
3. Those who need to replace their driving licenses will get second priority
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. The NTSA may opt to transfer the unexpired period of the existing licenses to the new ones, but this remains to be seen. Therefore, if you took a license for a long period, then you may wait till its expiry to get the new generation license.
4. Everyone should have received their new license by January 2021
Since the NTSA will be renewing old licenses for new ones, it then means that all drivers should have received their new driving license by January 2021. In the event that the NTSA finds a way of transferring unexpired time on current licenses to the Ntsa Smart Driving Licence, then it will be possible to replace them faster. However, based on current plans, the process should end within the next three years if no acceleration is done. The replacement process need not take very long since the production technology for the smart cards is well established and can be done by multiple vendors locally and internationally.
5. You will get your license through NTSA Partners
The next thing you need to bear in mind is that the NTSA will be appointing partners to help it deliver the new licenses to drivers. Just like it decentralized the renewal of licenses, you can expect to access your Ntsa Smart Driving Licence through an NTSA partner near you. It is still not clear who the NTSA will prefer to work with, but seeing that the new license will have security features, it must be someone capable of developing and delivering the license according to NTSA Specifications. The NTSA may also prefer to make the licenses centrally and then use the partners to distribute them. This strategy seems robust enough to ensure all drivers get the new generation license within the shortest time possible.
6. 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 offences 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.
7. 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 offences, then you will be an attractive customer to insurers, who will offer you lower premiums. Next Insurance already uses a similar system, but it is currently limited to the profile of the driver. The integration of the points systems from NTSA will lead to even more benefits.
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. You can expect some changes in the details of the insurance proposal forms as issued by insurance companies.
8. 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.
9. Fines on traffic Offences will be charged on your account
If you are fined for a traffic offence, 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. Electronic wallets are becoming common place, and one such is the payment system for parking, as well as other county government services in Nairobi. 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.
10. Your Car ownership details, your number plate, and driver’s license will be integrated
Finally, 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. It is still unclear how access to these details will be integrated. This may be on your e-citizen platform, or a new online account all drivers may be expected to hold with the NTSA. However, they will all be integrated in the new Smart Driving Licence.
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. This, at least is what the NTSA hopes will happen. Maybe, just maybe this is the silver bullet that will bring sanity to Kenyan roads.