The Road Transport Department (RTD) was initially under the Ministry of Transport and Communication before being absorbed by Kenya Revenue Authority on 1st July, 1995 through an act of Parliament. The Registrar of Motor Vehicles heads the Department.

Laws of Road Transport Department

The department is charged with the responsibility of undertaking registration and licensing of drivers and all motor Vehicles and trailers in the Republic under the following statutory provisions:
(i) Traffic Act Chapter 403
(ii) Second Hand Motor Vehicle Purchase Act Chapter 484
(iii) Transport Licensing Board Act Chapter 404
Role of Road Transport Department
Undertake Registration and Licensing of all motor vehicles and trailers in the country.
Maintenance of records relating to registration and offers safe custody of all accountable documents in its possession. The records kept may be subject to inspection by authorised individuals and also be used for management decisions by the government.
Collection of revenue for the government.
Promotion of road safety by effectively administering of the Traffic and Transport licensing.

Sections in the Road Transport Department

The Road Transport Department is divided into two main sections:

Licensing Section

The section executes the provision of Traffic act ( Cap. 403 ) of the laws of Kenya which involve licensing and issuance of original and duplicate Driving Licenses as well as conversion of foreign driving licenses to Kenya Driving licenses. The section is also involved in:

The issuance of PSV licenses for Matatu drivers and conductors operating PSV vehicles.
The issuance of licenses for driving schools and instructors.
Coordination with driving test units in the country regarding driving tests and booking.
In addition, the section carries out court endorsements, suspensions and cancellations of driving licenses for convicted drivers, maintenance of a registry for all drivers, conductors files and driving schools files including instructors licenses files.

Within the Licensing section is the Transport Licensing Board (TLB ). The TLB discharges the provisions of the Transport Act as provided in the Transport Licensing Act ( Cap. 404 ) of the laws of Kenya. It provides coordination and control of means and facilities for transport in the country. The Transport Licensing Act stipulates that all vehicles carrying goods and passengers whose tare weight exceeds three tonnes must be licensed. Consequently, the functions of the Transport Licensing Board involves receiving applications, scrutinising, approval of applications, and issuance of the following license categories:
Road service licenses for passenger buses and tour vehicles.
Limited "B" carrier license for lorries carrying goods on hire or reward.
Private "C" carriers license for lorries carrying own goods and
Short term licenses issued to applicants of "B" limited carriers and Road Service License ( RSL) before the Board sits to deliberate on their applications, authorising variation of routes or goods to owners of TLB licenses, variation of timetable to owners of Road Service License, replacement of vehicles with TLB licenses, transfer of TLB license from one owner to another, scheduling and preparing agenda and gazzettement of TLB meetings notifying the applicants when to appear before the Board, as well as gazzettement of successful applicants of TLB licenses and keeping records of all vehicles with TLB licenses.

Vehicle Information Section

The section receives and processes registration application forms for new motor vehicles, allocation of numbers, issuance of number plates, preparation and issuance of original logbooks for newly registered vehicles, issuance of duplicate logbooks. In addition, the section ensures proper transfer of vehicles, and proper keeping and retrieval of vehicle records. The information section is sub-divided into 5 units.

1. Registration of motor vehicles unit.

2. Motor vehicle transfer section.

The unit handles second-hand vehicle registration books, scrutinises and maintains records of ownership changes, transfer forms and registration books. The unit also approves transfers before payments of purchase tax and transfer fees.

3. Computer Services Unit

The unit is responsible for computerisation of information on all motor vehicles registrations, driving license, data processing and safe custody of all documents containing motor vehicles and licensing information.

4. Vehicle Registry

The unit maintains records of all files within the division

5. Micro-film unit

The section is charged with the responsibility of microfilming all documents relating to motor vehicles registration, inspection, road licenses. The unit maintains and stores microfilm jackets, edits and processes microfilms.

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