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What A Kenyan Car Number Plate Means

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Ever wonder why cars in Kenya have different coloured number plates, from yellow to blue to green and red?

In Kenya, number plates are issued by the Registrar of Motor vehicles for all vehicles.

The registrar also keeps records for all vehicles registered by the department; civilian, Government, parastatals, city/county council and UN bodies.

There are five types of number plates in Kenya issued by the Registrar; for civilian(yellow) GK (yellow), Parastatals (blue), local authorities (green) but replaced by county government (white with blue lettering) and diplomats (red).

GK to mean Government of Kenya, are plates used to identify all vehicles owned by the government. These include state vehicles, police vehicles, presidential escort vehicles among others.

President’s Escort Vehicle. Source: File

Parastatal vehicles are autonomously owned by the respective government institutions but are the property of the national government.

Such are school vehicles, hospital vehicles among others.

Parastatal Car. Source: File

County Government vehicles have a unique number plate that starts with the county code in that order. The plates are unique and different from all the 47 county governments.

Former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero posing next to a county government car. Source: File

KDF have a very unique number which follows the international numbering that is unique while on their missions.

KDF military vehicle. Source: File

There are also custom made number plates but they come at a huge fee. It will cost one at least one million to make their own number plate, for example ‘RINGTONE’

Custom made number plate. Source: File

Trailers are usually given unique plates yellow in colour and begins with Z.

Motorbikes, Tuktuks and other special kind of motors are usually given yellow plates with four letter plates all in yellow.

The most common types of number plates are on a white plate with black lettering.

Their format is LLL NNNL, where ‘L’ denotes a letter and ‘N’ denotes a digit.

In Kenya, diplomatic numbers given to the embassies are assigned in the order that they recognized Kenya’s independence, with Germany (then West Germany) as the first country to recognize Kenya’s independence having the diplomatic plate 1 CD.

Diplomatic Number Plate. Source: File

These diplomatic registration numbers are given red number plates.

An example of a diplomatic registration number is 5 CD 18 K, where 5 is the code for the diplomatic country.

CD means it is for a chartered Diplomat while 18 is allocated by the embassy, like depending on the rank of the car owner in the embassy, then the end is K which stands for the embassy is located in Kenya.

The list below shows the diplomatic sequence assignation as per 2008:

1 CD – Germany,

2 CD – Russian Federation,
3 CD – Ethiopia,
4 CD – China,
5 CD – Norway,
6 CD – Hungary,
7 CD – Egypt,
8 CD – Serbia,
9 CD – Italy,
10 CD – France,
11 CD – Slovakia,
12 CD – Denmark,
13 CD – Japan,
14 CD – Sudan,
15 CD – Austria,
16 CD – India,
17 CD – Australia,
18 CD – Canada,
19 CD – Holy See (The Vatican),
20 CD – Finland,
21 CD – Switzerland,
22 CD – Britain,
23 CD – Liberia,
24 CD – Israel,
25 CD – Nigeria,
26 CD – Ghana,
27 CD – Netherlands,
28 CD – Malawi,
29 CD – USA,
30 CD – Belgium,
31 CD – Sweden,
32 CD – Pakistan,
33 CD – Poland,
34 CD – Korea,
35 CD – Bulgaria,
36 CD – Greece,
37 CD – Cuba,
38 CD – Kuwait,
39 CD – Spain,
40 CD -United Nations Development Programme ,
41 CD -World Health Organizations,
42 CD – United Nation Educational Science and Cultural Organization,
43 CD – International Bank for Reconstruction and Development,
44 CD – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations,
45 CD – Romania,
46 CD – Thailand,
47 CD – The African Union,
48 CD – Colombia,
50 CD – Somalia,
51 CD – Brazil,
52 CD – Turkey,
53 CD – Lesotho,
54 CD – Zambia,
55 CD – Madagascar,
56 CD – Malaysia,
57 CD – D.R. Congo (DRC),
58 CD – Swaziland,
59 CD – Sri Lanka,
60 CD – Iraq ,
61 CD – Rwanda,
62 CD – United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees / UN Refugee Agency,
63 CD – United Nations Children’s Fund,
64 CD – Iran,
65 CD – Cyprus,
66 CD – Argentina,
67 CD – United Nations Information Center,
68 CD – Philippines,
69 CD – Burundi,
70 CD – Chile,
71 CD – Oman,
72 CD – League of Arab State,
73 CD – European Union,
74 CD – Yemen,
75 CD – Kenya Mission to UNEP,
76 CD – Côte d’Ivoire (Consulate),
77 CD – Bangladesh,
78 CD – Saudi Arabia,
79 CD – United Nations Center for Human Settlement,
80 CD – Libya,
81 CD – Ireland (Consulate),
82 CD – United Nations Centre for Human Settlement / UN-Habitat (Kenya Mission),
83 CD – Algeria,
84 CD – Palestine,
85 CD – Uganda,
86 CD – Mexico,
87 CD – Morocco,
88 CD – Costa Rica (Consulate),
89 CD – Gabon (Consulate),
90 CD -U.N.I.C.E.F Kenya mission,
91 CD – Indonesia,
92 CD – Portugal,
93 CD – Venezuela,
94 CD – Zimbabwe,
95 CD – International Civil Aviation Organization,
96 CD – Asian Development Bank,
97 CD – Tanzania,
99 CD – Peru,
100 CD – International France corporation,
101 CD – United Nations Environment Program Norwegian Mission,
102 CD – Mozambique,
103 CD – South Africa,
104 CD – Eritrea,
106 CD – Czech Republic,
107 CD – The Aga Khan,
110 CD – Botswana (Consulate),
115 CD – Ukraine,
116 CD – Sahrawi,
117 CD – Djibouti,
118 CD – Siera Leon,
121 CD – South Sudan.
Now you know who is ahead or behind you while you are on the road.


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