How to drive a car in Japan

When Driving in Japan

■ In order to drive in Japan, you need to have one of the following licenses. (Article 64 of the Road Traffic Act, Article 107-2 of the Act)

1) Japanese driver’s license
2) International Driving Permit based on the Convention on Road Traffic (Geneva Convention)
3) Foreign countries or regions related to driving automobiles (countries or regions that have not issued an international driver’s license and have a license system that is recognized as being at the same level as Japan (currently the Republic of Estonia, Swiss Federation, Federal Republic of Germany, Republic of France, Kingdom of Belgium, Principality of Monaco and Taiwan * 1))

■ Period during which you can drive in Japan
1) Japanese driver’s license: within the valid period
2) International driver’s license and foreign driver’s license: One year from the date of landing in Japan or the validity period of the license, whichever is shorter (however, the person recorded in the basic resident register confirms or re-departs from Japan If you leave Japan with an entry permit, etc. and return to Japan within 3 months, the date of your return (landing) will not be the starting date of the driving period with your international driver’s license, etc. .)

When Obtaining a Japanese License

If you have a license from a foreign government agency, you can apply for a procedure to obtain a Japanese license for automobiles, etc. that you can drive with that license, with a partial exemption from the test. (Article 97-2, Paragraph 2 of the Road Traffic Act)
■ Application place
The driver’s license center of the prefectural police of the address in Japan, etc.

■ Procedure
Based on the application, if you confirm the necessary knowledge about driving or skills related to driving and it is recognized that there is no problem in driving, you will be exempted from part of the license test (department test, skill test). It will be.

■ Notes
1) After receiving a foreign driver’s license, you must have stayed in that country for a total of 3 months or more (passports with immigration stamps and other materials certifying the length of stay are required. ).
2) Application by proxy is not allowed. Please be sure to apply by yourself.

■ Documents required when applying for a license
1) Application form

  • It is necessary to submit a “questionnaire” about the symptoms of the disease along with the application form. If any of the questions are applicable, the staff will ask you to talk about your symptoms.

  • 2) One photo for application
  • A capless, frontal, and backgroundless image taken within 6 months before application, showing the top from the chest. The size is 3.0 x 2.4 cm.

  • 3) A copy of the resident’s card stated in the registered domicile (passport, etc. for those who are not subject to the Basic Resident Register Act)

  • 4) Health insurance card, My Number card, residence card, etc. (presentation)

  • 5) A license related to a license from a foreign government agency, etc. (International driver’s license alone is not possible.)

  • 6) Japanese translation of the above license (the type of automobile, etc. that can be driven by a person specified by the government ordinance of the foreign government agency, etc. that issued the license, the foreign consular agency, etc. * 3 Necessary items such as the expiration date of the license and the conditions of the license are clarified)

  • 7) Documents such as passports with immigration stamps that confirm that you have stayed in the foreign country for a total of 3 months or more after obtaining the license.

  • 8) Fee

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