Sunday, March 27, 2011

Motor Vehicle Transfer - KRA's Flawed Process

I needed a vehicle transfer done recently. The KRA's Service Delivery Charter (here) states that it is my right as a customer to have KRA process and dispatch my motor vehicle transfer within 3 days. (see page 11 of the Charter)

So, my transfer was lodged on Friday 4th February 2011 at 4pm. Based on the guidelines spelt out in the charter, my registration document should have been dispatched by the 11th February.

The new registration document (in the name of the new was printed on the 23rd February

Immediately after printing, the registration document was sent to the "mkubwa's" office for signing. (Every registration document must be signed by a senior officer in the Road Transport Department). Once the document is signed it is sent straight to dispatch - a step in the process that is not captured by the KRA system (thus it is not possible to establish the exact date that signing takes place).

28 days later, on the 22nd March 2011 the registration document was dispatched (i.e. posted) and spent a further two days in the Posta system before being received on the 25th March.

It took 42 days for transfer to be processed by KRA (if we start counting from 7th February, which was the working day after the application was lodged, and excluding the day of dispatch from KRA). 14 times longer than spelled out in the charter.

Alarmingly, 66.6% (28/42 days) of the time KRA took to process the logbook is spent between signing and dispatch. I assume (generously) that dispatch takes 2 days maximum. So I estimate that about 62% of the time KRA took to process the transfer was spent waiting for a signature.

Sadly, I know from experience that this sort of waiting period is not the exception but is the norm with vehicle transfers. There is always a long delay waiting for mkubwa to sign the logbook.

Some background: In 2008, KRA changed the registration documents that it issues for cars. The old registration document was a hand written piece of card with 3 columns (lots of writing on it including vehicle make, model, engine numbers, names and addresses of all previous owners, name and address of current owner etc...all hand written). The new registration document is a much simpler single sheet of computer printed paper. It captures all vehicle details and only lists current owners details but not those of previous owners. I assume, part of the reason for this change was to increase security (the new document has some security features) as well as to increase speed and efficiency.

I am sure logbook production (printing) is now a lot faster but the increase in efficiency achieved by having computer printed logbooks is undone by retaining the "must be signed by mkubwa" bottleneck. Surely the new logbook system should have been designed to incorporate an oversight system that does not require the big man to physically sign every single logbook?


  1. 42 days! Thats rough! For the charter to say 3 days it must be possible for it to be done in 3 days, either that, or the consultants hired were overly optimistic.
    On the other hand, surely, in this day and age how can each document be signed by hand?

  2. I am at a loss.

    How exactly does the big man appending his signature provide a control of any kind?

    It makes more sense to me to have the certs pre-signed and control the distribution process internally for every one issued. In much the same way as we do ID cards.

    Thats my take.

  3. Believe it or not, this was not even an especially bad transfer. This is just about average time frame. It can take longer.

    I didn't even know about the three day timeline. Stumbled across it purely by accident when I was checking when the new generation 'logbooks' came into effect. I also wondered whether it is possible and the system is just so rotten or whether it is a case of unrealistic goal setting.

    As to the subject of signing, I do not think the document needs to be signed at all. It achieves nothing as a measure of control because it relies on a personality (who may or may not be flawed). I believe (but couldn't confirm) that they are personally signed by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. If that is the case, from many years dealing with KRA, I get the impression that the guy who was in the job before (Kirgotty) spent very little time in his office.

    It is an inexcusable and unnecessary bottleneck.

  4. I can confirm that it's possible to have it done in three days. But it's via the 'who do you know' kind of thing. In Dec I handled a transfer via the normal means for a customer and had to endure 3 months of asking him to be patient.

    Your options remain patience and underhand 3 days for an 'extra fee'

  5. my cars registration has taken so far more than one and a half months. believe me nothing has come out as i speak. it is either the system is fake or some body is sleeping on his job

  6. I called Mr. Chebet's office on 2815222 (Motor Vehicle Registration) and was kept on hold for over 20 minutes. The lady would keep me on hold and would check every 5 minutes (without saying a word to me) to see whether I had gotten tired or was still on hold.
    The boses need a major reshuffle here.

  7. Today, 11 Oct 2011, I called Mr. Chebet's office on 2815222 (Motor Vehicle Registration) and was kept on hold for over 20 minutes. The lady would keep me on hold and would check every 5 minutes (without saying a word to me) to see whether I had gotten tired or was still on hold.
    The boses need a major reshuffle here.

  8. I feel very frustrated and like I shouldn't pay for taxes. Why can't MV registration be computerized so that one can track everything online.

  9. hii ndio the real definatio of kenya's public office,nothing will change any soon.all that change they talk about is nothing but calender days

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  11. How much does it cost to transfer a log book and how long does it take for saloon car?

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