Kenya’s National Transport and Safety Board (NTSA) has been working on the new smart driving licences for a while now. They are meant to replace our ageing driving licences that we have had since independence.
These new licences have tech that we are used to in the 21st century like a chip that holds driver information and a points system that is used to discipline drivers. They have also been working on the Transport Integrated Management System (TIMS), a database that holds all of the information surrounding driver’s licences and vehicle inspection.
Application and Booking Appointments
To apply for these new driving licences, you’ll need to register on NTSA’s Citizen self service portal, TIMS. However, you need a driving licence appointment with NTSA, which you get when you go to NTSA’s Upper Hill offices.
Well, now they have an easy way for you to get that appointment with the institution. NTSA has issued a new smart driving licence appointment system that went live yesterday.
You still need to have a TIMS account for you to book the appointment. If you successfully login to your profile, click on the driving licence tab at the top and you’ll be shown your My DL option. If you have the old driving licence like I do, you will be able to see data about it in that profile.
If you want to acquire the new Smart DL (driving licence), you’ll need to book an appointment with NTSA. Just tap on the prominent blue button at the top and it will open a new tab that looks like this.
It requires you to provide the same information you gave at TIMS (ID number, telephone number and KRA PIN) and you can proceed to create the booking. It is also imperative that you print the appointment Slip.
At any NTSA office near your home, you should be able to log into your NTSA TIMS account with an NTSA Officer to confirm your details. Afterward, you require to make a payment for the new smart license via the e-citizen platform. Your new license will then be queued for printing. It would take up to three days to get the new DL from the date of application.
Online appointment for smart driving licences will proceed from Thursday this week (24th January) in NTSA offices in Nairobi (Head Office and Likoni road), Machakos, Nyeri, Mombasa, Nakuru, Eldoret, Kisii and Kisumu.
“Online scheduling/booking/appointment has become something more and more of Government to consider when giving services to its Citizens. We (NTSA) are unveiling an online smart driving license appointment portal to ease congestion and long queues experienced by Kenyans. (https://tims.ntsa.go.ke),” Dr Fernando Wangila, NTSA’s Senior Deputy Director (Head of ICT and Innovation) said.
“This will also keep away idlers who take advantage and may create an insecure environment for the genuine citizen. Once booked, you will receive a reminder SMS. In order to succeed in today’s technology driven world, Government has to provide convenience alongside top-notch service. As the use of smartphones, tablets and other Internet- connected devices has permeated the Kenyan society, Government has always been doing a great job of keeping up. Those government entities that have kept up with the tech trends have seen an uptick in both the number of citizens they take in and the quality of service they are able to provide while places relying on the old ways continue to remain stagnant in both areas,” Dr Wangila added.
Another point worth noting is that the digital DLs are available for all. NTSA says that both documents (old and digital ones) will be valid until 80 percent of drivers have fully migrated. The same numbers will see the enforcement of the Points system.
Points System and Offenses
Speaking of the Points system, the new licenses will be equipped with a digital wallet for paying fines. NTSA has also reported that it is working with the Police and the Judiciary to enable instant fines. A new license will be configured with 20 points, which are refreshed every three years. Losing points due to offenses will force NTSA to invalidate or suspend your license. By the way, each offense subtracts a point in line with NTSA regulations.
The point system is available but is not activated until 80% of the licences are converted. Currently NTSA says that roughly 50,000 licences are smart.
Notably, NTSA says the new DL enforces integrity and cannot be forged easily owing to the amount of biometric data it holds. It, in essence, professionalizes driving and aims to ensure that law-abiding drivers are rewarded and reckless ones are punished accordingly based on the profile developed by the Points system.
Personal identity data used by NTSA is sourced from NRB (National Registration Bureau), and authenticated by KRA (Kenya Revenue Authority). A user is only required to update his or her address, phone number and occupation. Additionally, the state is working on the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS), which, alongside with an imminent issuance of Huduma Numbers, is expected to ease the exercise as NTSA will no longer need data from citizens as the two systems will be integrated. All existing DL details are already in NTSA systems.