Can I use my Kenya driving licence when motoring in a borrowed or hired car in Europe or elsewhere? Is there a time limit on its use before having to apply for a licence in the host country? Will I have to take a test to get one, or will my Kenya licence serve as proof that I am a qualified driver?
Some countries accept a Kenya driving licence, with various time limits (some months), but many do not, even for very brief visits. You will need to research the internet video of the specific country you intend to visit to find out…and hope the data is accurate.
To be sure that you will be accepted as a licensed driver (by car hire companies, traffic police and insurers) almost anywhere and everywhere, you should get an International Driving Permit (IDP) and carry both that and your Kenya licence on your travels.
You use your Kenya licence to get an IDP, which the AA of Kenya has sole authority to issue. It currently costs Sh9,000 and is valid for one year, with options for two or three years surcharged pro-rata. AA members get a discount of circa 30 percent.
Armed with your Kenya licence and a valid IDP you are licensed to drive almost anywhere (about 150 countries are signed up to that). Hire car companies and the national traffic police will be aware. PS: An IDP is not a valid substitute for a national licence in the country that issued it.
The issue of IDPs in Kenya used to be very centralised, and applications through remote branches used to take some time. My understanding is that branches can now issue IDPs on-the-spot if you have all the necessary paperwork (we are all aware of the official passion for that – two identical passport photos, copies of your ID and/or passport, your PIN, your driving licence…take the usual “everything” with you).