The report, which was released on Monday, showed that 457,095 original driving licenses were processed in 2023 compared to 602,926 the year before.

According to the report which drew its provisional data from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), the number of applicants in 2022 nearly doubled those in 2021 whose figure stood at 384,004.

In comparison, KNBS revealed that public service licenses applications doubled from 35,897 to 71,980.

“The number of PSV licenses issued doubled from 35,897 in 2022 to 71,980 in 2023. The number of original licenses issued declined by 22.5 per cent from 602,926 in 2022 to 467,095 in 2023.”

“The number of driving license conversions nearly doubled from 1,542 in 2022 to 2,831 in 2023,” the report read in part.

The drop comes at a time when NTSA upped its ante in pushing Kenyan drivers to apply for the new smart driving licenses.

However, the new DL attracts an application fee of Ksh3,050, which triples the previous Ksh1,000 drivers required to renew their old driving licenses.

In April this year, the authority announced that it was determined to phase out all old driving licences within a period of three years. The smart DLs will allow the State to roll out instant fines and point system to enforce traffic laws.

“This is critical to the integrity of road safety in the future, and will be accompanied by identity checks to eliminate identity fraud through the licensing system,” NTSA stated in its National Road Safety Action Plan 2024-2028.

“With every Kenyan driver smart driver licence, it will be possible to administer and implement an instant fine regime and a demerit point system.”

Since 2019, the State had also been tightening its rules surrounding the existence of driving schools which saw 51 institutions shut during during the same period.

The number of driving license applications is likely to drop further after the Finance Bill, 2024 proposed a motor vehicle tax requiring car owners to part with between Ksh5,000 and Ksh100,000 every year.

National Assembly Finance Chair Kimani Kuria, in a recent interview, revealed that the government was aiming to collect Ksh58 billion in the first year of imposing the wealth tax.

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