A vehicle registration identification number, popularly known as a number plate, is a requirement for all vehicles operating in the country and is issued to car owners or dealers upon enrollment.
While the presumption is that newer vehicles get the latest registration plates, several new car models have been spotted bearing number plates whose series lapsed more than a decade ago.
Kenyans.co.ke established that new cars with old number plates result from vehicle deregistration or the cancellation of the registration process provided for in the Traffic Act.
The Act allows the Registrar of Motor Vehicles to revoke registration certificates of cars for several reasons, including those whose enrollment was ascertained to be illegal.
"The Registrar may, where he has reasonable grounds to believe that a motor vehicle has been registered in error, fraudulently or in a manner contrary to the provisions of this Act, withdraw the registration of the motor vehicle," reads the Traffic Act.
Furthermore, the law requires the owners of vehicles rendered immobile to apply for a cancellation of their registration. The same applies to written-off vehicles.
"If a vehicle is written off by an insurer, the insurer shall forthwith return the registration book and identification plates issued under this Act or the regulations to the Registrar for cancellation," reads Section 6 (9) of the Act.
The law further provides that any vehicle owner who wishes to relocate to another country with his or her vehicle can return the identification plates and registration certificate, after which they will be issued with a deregistration certificate.
Kenyans who wish to register newly imported vehicles with old plates may request a special plea to the registrar, who grants the prayer.
On the flip side, several old-model vehicles were spotted with new number plates. This is due to the fresh registration of cars listed under government or parastatals ownership.
Car enthusiasts and collectors also have a leeway to import and register vintage cars used in events such as Concours d'Elegance provided they prove that the vehicles will be used solely for competition purposes.