Here is what that Red “CD” Numberplate means on Kenyan Roads


Howdy Fam,
Now today let’s Torque about Kenyan number plates. Have you ever come across a vehicle with a plate that leaves you more confused about who even owns it? My Friend Jemo always asks “Sasa hii ya 12 CD ikikugonga utasema uligongwa na gari ya wapi?” means “Who will you report as the owner of car that hit you”?
As a curious mind wanting to know all stuff and this has been one of those answered questions. Which plate is for who is the question.

The current Number Plates

To start off let’s talk about the current number plates which the government is currently replacing through the national transport and safety authority(NTSA). The new plates are designed to have more security features to enable vehicle identification as a measure to keep updated records within the government. Kenyans are parting with approximately 3,050Ksh to replace their number plates. Read more anout the new number plates in Kenya here

Special Number Plates

Apart from the normal civilian number plates Kenya has a series of number plates considered special plates. These are to cover all other special categories such as identifying government vehicles, Parastatals, NGOs, and other special categories. They include but are not limited to

  1. The Kenyan Government uses GK;
  2. The Kenyan County Governments use CG, for example, Nairobi County vehicles are 47 CG;
  3. Governors use GVN followed by their county code;
  4. The Speaker of the National Assembly uses SNA;
  5. The Speaker of the Senate uses SS;
  6. The Chief Justice uses CJ;
  7. Kenya Army – KA;
  8. Kenya Air Force – KAF;
  9. Kenya Navy – KN;
  10. Kenya Agricultural Institute – KAI;
  11. Diplomats use N CD and they are red plates with white letters and numbers;
  12. Parastatals use blue plates with white letters and numbers
  13. Motorcycles now use the KMCA series;
  14. Heavy Machinery uses the “KHMA” series;
  15. Tricycle uses the KTWC series.
  16. NGO – KX;
  17. Vehicle Dealers Number plate series – KG and KD. The plates have a green background with white letters
    Source: wikipedia

Diplomatic Number Plates “CD”

Now on to the “CD” Plates which are for diplomats in Kenya. The Plate is usually Red with white letters starting with a number then CD eg 12 CD 21 K then it represents the country in question, the diplomat rank, and if the country has an embassy in Kenya or not. So 12 is the country code, CD denotes its a diplomatic vehicle, The number 21 after CD denotes the rank of the owner and K means the country has an embassy in Kenya. Source:

The plate sequence is based on Kenya’s independence and the countries that recognized the independence of Kenya are assigned the number plates series with the first country to recognize Kenya’s Independence getting the First number in the Series 1 CD. Germany was the first nation to recognize Kenya as an independent state, hence it was given a diplomatic number plate. 1 CD

Below is the List of all countries and their diplomatic number plate codes as of 2008.

  • 1 CD – Germany
  • 2 CD – Russian Federation
  • 3 CD – Ethiopia
  • 4 CD – China
  • 5 CD – Norway
  • 6 CD – Hungary
  • 7 CD – Egypt
  • 8 CD – Serbia
  • 9 CD – Italy
  • 10 CD – France
  • 11 CD – Slovakia
  • 12 CD – Denmark
  • 13 CD – Japan
  • 14 CD – Sudan
  • 15 CD – Austria
  • 16 CD – India
  • 17 CD – Australia
  • 18 CD – Canada
  • 19 CD – Holy See (The Vatican)
  • 20 CD – Finland
  • 21 CD – Switzerland
  • 22 CD – Britain
  • 23 CD – Liberia
  • 24 CD – Israel
  • 25 CD – Nigeria
  • 26 CD – Ghana
  • 27 CD – Netherlands
  • 28 CD – Malawi
  • 29 CD – USA
  • 30 CD – Belgium
  • 31 CD – Sweden
  • 32 CD – Pakistan
  • 33 CD – Poland
  • 34 CD – Korea
The Old Dealer and Garage Plates.

So fam there you have it. That’s what that Red “CD” Numberplate means on Kenyan Roads…

Feel free to add any comments regarding the topic above. I stand corrected on some facts in this article.

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Bob Wa Magari
the authorBob Wa Magari


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