types of number plates in Kenya

11 types of Number Plates in Kenya you need to Know

In Kenya, all vehicle owners must have a registered number plate that is used to identify the owner. All vehicles in Kenya are registered by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles based on the identity and group function of a vehicle.


You might have been seeing different number plates from various autos and wondering why the unique number plates for certain vehicles, below is a detailed list of every unique number plate available in Kenya.

Civilian Vehicle number plate

Public vehicles are the common vehicles in Kenyan roads and commonly used by citizens. Their plates have a white oblong number plate on the front bumper and a yellow oblong or square number plate on the rear bumper.

The numbering begins with K.. written in black against a white or yellow background.


Government of Kenya plates denotes vehicles owned by the government like police cars.

County Government

County government vehicles have a unique numbering for precise identification. The format for county government plates is:

Two numbers-two letters-three numbers-one letter

For instance: 47 CG 456A

                        47 – County Code

                        CG – County Government

County Governors Vehicle

The format is unique for Governors vehicles only. It follows the format: GVN 37A

Where: GVN – denotes Governor

            037 – denotes county code, in this case 37 for Kakamega

Parastatals and Government Institutions

This are organizations or institutions under the government of Kenya including commissions’, companies, hospitals, public schools, universities and colleges under the administration of the government.

The number plates of these vehicles are similar to civilian vehicles; however the difference is on the background. White numbers are written on a dark blue background.


A vehicle has a right to customize customized number plates at huge fee. Approximately it will cost you up to 1 million Kenyan Shillings to make a customized number plate with a unique name on it.


These are specific vehicles belonging to foreign embassies based Kenya. Diplomatic number plates are given to embassies as a symbol of recognition to Kenya as an Independent state. Written in white color against a red background

Formatted as: 99 CD 19 K

                        99 – code for specific country

                        CD – chartered diplomat

                        K – Shows country where embassy is based, in this case Kenya

International NGO’s

International Non-governmental organizations have a unique category of number plates numbering written against a red background and start with KX.

For instance, KX 05 D 59

            KX – denoting international NGO

            05 D – denoting specific NGO and rank of the officer


Kenya Defense Forces have a unique plate numbering that adheres to international numbering while on their missions. Unlike other government and parastatal agencies, KDF vehicle plates do not begin with GK.

Trailer Plates

If you have been keen, you must have noticed that trailers have a unique plate numbering from the engine truck. It is because a trailer can haul various trailers continually. Plates are uniquely written in yellow colour and begin with Z followed by numerical numbers.

Motorbikes and Tuktuk

Motorbikes, Tuktuks and any other special kind of vehicles are given a unique plate with a yellow background written with four letters black in color.

Did you know that the shape of a number plate depends on whether a vehicle is new or used? Vehicles from a showroom with zero mileage have a rear rectangle shaped number plate with numbers written across the whole plate. Imported second-hand vehicles have a square rear number plate with numbers written in two rows.

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