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Tourists in Kenya and car ownership: a problem

Mandatory logbook digitisation: without ID you cannot do it

17-02-2023 by redazione

The digitisation of public services in Kenya from many points of view is a good thing: it minimises the great scourge of corruption, avoids costly travel for those who are not in the vicinity of government or county offices, and allows documents to be obtained often in a matter of days or even hours.
On the other hand, however, the process of 'networking' information and implementing verifiable forms, requirements and documents is creating many problems and some paradoxes that are then reflected negatively on users.
This is the case with the digitisation of vehicles, number plates and driving licences by the national road authority, our "civil motorisation office", the National Transport and Safety Authority.
After creating a single portal called TIMS, along the lines of what was done by the immigration office, NTSA started the registration of vehicle registration books and the transfer from seller to buyer, the issuance of digital driving licences, and lastly that of the new digital number plates, which will have to, barring probable extensions as is almost always the case in Kenya, be exchanged for the current ones by the end of 2023.

BUT THERE IS A PROBLEM

In order to register a vehicle in one's own name and then be able to resell it, or to buy one from scratch, the online process is now compulsory and among the basic requirements is the national Identity Card (ID CARD). Naturally, citizens have this document, on which the card number and expiry date is marked. Residents of Kenya also have this ID, called the ALIEN CARD.
The problem concerns tourists, former residents and those who own property or spend a few months a year in Kenya, but no longer have or have never had the Alien Card.
Without the card number, which has to be entered in a special space in the online application steps on the NTSA portal, nothing can currently be done.
Until before the pandemic, a tourist could get around this problem after 3 months of stay in Kenya, because upon renewal of the residence visa, it was mandatory to make the application for the Alien Card, which lasted 3 months (and in Malindi, it usually arrived after a month and a half or two...).
As of 2021, this process has been cancelled, as it is considered unnecessary for the identification of foreign tourists who have been in the territory for more than three months, because everything is done online and is easily verifiable by the institutions.
In addition, many offences, scams and subterfuges had been reported by showing the Alien Card as a residence document (e.g. entry to national parks, various discounts, etc.).
Speeding up and standardising bureaucracy is all well and good, cutting down corruption even more so, but in this case the state should now consider the damage it can do to a minority of permanent and regular tourists who have a car and cannot register it online and in a year's time will no longer be able to circulate because they cannot get the new digital number plate. At the same time, they cannot sell their vehicle.
While it seems clear that new tourists will no longer be able to buy a car or even a motorbike unless they leave it in the name of the person selling it, with his approval of course.
Many Italian holidaymakers and regular visitors from the coast and from Nairobi have written to us to complain about the situation, to ask us for advice and remind our institutions and local authorities.
We provide information, but over the years those who follow us know that we always pass on these appeals to those in charge. Also thanks to our work, everyone is informed and everyone will try to get the message across to try to change the system so as not to disadvantage anyone. One of the solutions could be a special identification number issued only for this kind of operation.
Also because another 'revolution' is also on the way, that of property titles to be digitised, and here too there are many tourists who have their 'title deed', a house, and will have to transfer everything digitally. And if the criterion were to be the same as that implemented by the NTSA, the value of what could no longer be sold, transferred or purchased would certainly be greater.

TAGS: turistiresidentiproprietarilibrettitarghepatentidigitalizzazioneportale

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