Kenya’s New Driving License Categories and Classes

In 2018, NTSA rolled out new rules for driving schools, driving instructors and issuance of driving licences in accordance with the updated Traffic Act.

This included a new driving curriculum that aims at improving road safety along with the roll-out of the new Smart Driving Licences.

The rules define new driving license categories that specify the class of vehicles that a licence holder can drive. This new classification includes more vehicle categories compared to the old driving license and comes with stricter requirements.

The categories are divided into 7 groups: A, B, C, D, E, F & G. Categories A to D are further subdivided into different classes while categories E to G define special driving classes.

Below is a list of tables of all the new categories along with their descriptions and minimum requirements.

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Category A Driving Licenses

Category
Description
Requirements
A1
Moped
• Enables one to ride a motorcycle of up to 50cc
• No passengers allowed to be carried.
• No loads
• No passenger
• Minimum age of 16 years
• Minimum age of 16 years
A2
Light motorcycle
• Enables one to ride a motorcycle above 50cc
• Can carry a maximum load of 60 Kg (for up to 400cc)
• Can carry a passenger
• Minimum age of 18 years
A3
Motorcycle taxi
Couriers
Three wheelers (e.g Tuk-tuk)
• Enables one to ride a motorcycle above 100cc
• Can carry a maximum load of 100 Kg (for up to 50cc)
• Can carry a passenger
• Minimum age of 21 years
• 1 year riding experience of category A2
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Category B Driving Licenses

Category
Description
Requirements
B1
Light Vehicle
• Enables one to drive a light vehicle (passenger car) with a maximum Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of 3500 kg with one light trailer (not exceeding 750 kg)
• Can drive a vehicle equipped with both a manual or automatic gearbox
• Can carry up to a maximum of 7 passengers
• Minimum age of 18 years
B2
Light Vehicle Automatic
• Enable one to drive a light vehicle (passenger car) with an automatic gear box and a maximum Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of 3500 kg with one light trailer (not exceeding 750 kg)
• Cannot drive a vehicle equipped with a manual gearbox
• Can carry up to a maximum of 7 passengers
• Minimum age of 18 years
• Minimum age of 18 years
B3
Professional
• Enables one to drive a light vehicle (passenger car) with a maximum Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of 3500 kg with one light trailer (not exceeding 750 kg)
• Equipped with a manual or automatic gear box
• Can carry up to a maximum of 7 passengers
• Minimum age of 21 years
• Minimum age of 21 years
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Category C Driving Licenses

Category
Description
Requirements
C1
Light Truck
• Enables one to drive a light truck with a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) exceeding 3500 kg and a maximum of 7500 kg with maximum one light trailer not exceeding 750 kg
• Equipped with manual or automatic gear box
• Minimum age of 22 years
C
Medium Truck
• Enables one to drive a heavy truck with a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) exceeding 7500 kg with maximum one light trailer not exceeding 750 kg
• Equipped with manual or automatic gear box
• Minimum age of 24 years
• Two years’ experience of driving category C1
• Required to undergo training
CE
Heavy Truck with trailer
• Enables one to drive a heavy truck with a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) exceeding 7500 kg with a heavy trailer or semi-trailer
• Enables one to drive articulated vehicles (i.e. a vehicle with two or more parts that are connected so that they can move in different directions at the same time)
• Equipped with manual or automatic gear box
• Minimum age of 28 years
• Four years’ experience of driving category C
• Required to undergo training and retesting for category CE
CE
Heavy
Goods
Vehicle For
Transportation of
Hazardous Materials
• Enables one to drive a heavy truck with a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) exceeding 7500 kg with heavy trailer or semitrailer.
• Enables one to drive articulated vehicles
• Equipped with a manual or automatic gear box
• Minimum age of 30 years
• Two years’ experience of driving category CE
• Required to undergo training and retesting for category CD

Category D Driving Licenses

Category
Description
Requirements
D1
Van
• Enables one to drive a van with a maximum of 14 passengers.
• Equipped with manual or automatic gearbox
• Minimum of 22 years
D2
Mini-bus
• Enables one to drive a bus with 14 to 32 passengers
• Equipped with manual or automatic gear box
• Minimum age of 25 years
• Minimum experience of 3 years driving category D1
• Required to undergo training and retesting for category D2
D3
Large Bus
• Enables one to drive a bus with 33 or more passengers
• Equipped with manual or automatic gear box
• Minimum age of 30 years
• Minimum experience of 3 years driving category D2
• Required to undergo training and retesting for category D3

Category E Driving Licenses

Category
Description
Requirements
Special professional driving license
• Enables one to drive any vehicles classified under categories C1, C, CE, D, D1, D2, D3 and licensed as EC1, EC, ECE, ED, ED1, ED2 and ECD3 respectively
• Minimum age of 21years
• Completed 3 months driving practice with any vehicle classified under categories C1, C, CE, D, D1, D2, D3 and licensed as EC1, EC, ECE, ED, ED1, ED2 AND ECD 3 respectively
Class ED2 Licenses shall be endorsed for class D1 and D while Class ECE Licenses shall be endorsed for C and C1

Category F Driving Licenses

Category
Description
Requirements
Special Driving License for Persons with Disability (PWD)
• Enables one to drive a vehicle depending on the category the PWD is trained on
• Minimum age of 18 years
• Requirement is as per the class the categories of abled drivers

Category G Driving Licenses

Category
Description
Requirements
Industrial construction and agricultural plants equipment
• Enables one to operate forklift, motor grader, shovel, excavator, roller and any other special kinds of plant and equipment for which special authorization is required from the authority as defined in the Traffic Act before such plants can be registered for use.
• Endorsement for class G will be done on the driving license.
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Kelvin Muriuki is a web content developer that's passionate about keeping the internet a useful place. He is the founder and editor of Kenyan Fix, an informational blog that writes on topics that are of interest to the everyday Kenyan.