Daily Life, Kenya, Nairobi, New York
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Driver’s License for Expats in Kenya

I did say I’d keep posting any new tips. Here are some relating to driver’s licenses.

Getting a License

Okay, here, I can’t help much. The U.N. did it for us. I don’t know the process if you are not with the U.N. or an embassy. If anyone reading knows this information, please feel free to add it in via the comments section.

Renewing a Kenyan License

This part I know and it’s super easy. For anyone who is a resident and has an Alien ID card, you can just go online to eCitizen web site and renew it online. You fill out the form online, pay online, and print your renewal slip which you tuck into your license.

However, if you have diplomatic status (e.g. are with an embassy or the U.N.) then you can’t do this. You won’t have an Alien ID card. Your license will need to go through the Foreign Ministry first.

BUT…and this made my entire year…you don’t have to go through the ssslllloooooooow process at the U.N. or at your embassy. You can go to AA Kenya! I dropped off my passport (shows proof of residency) my diplomatic ID (also proof of residency and that the Foreign Ministry need to do some processing), and my current Kenyan license. I got all my documents and my renewed license back the next day. It was so fast and easy.

Renewing a U.S. License

This will vary from state to state. In New York, you can do it via mail. Just go to the New York State DMV site for license renewal and scroll down to the part about doing it via mail. I filled out a form, got an eye exam in Kenya (and had the optometrist fill out a form), and sent both in along with a check. The key is that the DMV will mail your new license anywhere in the U.S. You’ll need to arrange to have it sent to a friend or family member who will then send it onto you. I had it sent to a friend who then sent it via DHL to me.

International License

If you’re in the U.S. you can get an international license very easily through AAA. Just go in with any valid U.S. State license and you can get one that will be valid for up to one year. You can set the start date as a future date. For example, if you won’t be out of the country for another month then you can set the start date for the month you’ll actually be away.

AA Kenya does do international licenses. So, if you are in Kenya and want to travel/drive in another country, they can take care of that for you. However, be aware that international driver’s licenses are not valid in the country of issue. This is true everywhere. In other words, you can’t get one in Kenya to use in Kenya. It has to come from another country.

I hope all this is helpful. And, again, if anyone can provide information on how to get a brand new license in Kenya, please post it in the comments.

2 Comments

  1. I am in the mess like what you mentioned. I am diplomatic state, but the embassy staff does not help me to renew my driving license, which makes me crazy , because I could not renew it directly online. Thanks a lot for your information, and I would like to confirm whether AA Kenya could help me.

    Liked by 1 person

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