航空チケット+ホテル スキーツアー 高速バス・深夜バス
航空チケット+ホテル スキーツアー 高速バス・深夜バス
Japan travel guide

Japan driver's licence

Driving in Japan

You are required to hold either of the following driver's licenses to be allowed to drive in Japan;

1. Driver's license issued by public safety commissions in Japan (a regular Japanese domestic driver's license)
or
2. International driving permit (the holder must also be in possession of his or her passport simultaneously)


International driving permits
There are four types of international driving permits under the following four conventions on road traffic:
1. Geneva Convention
2. Vienna Convention
3. Paris Convention
4. Washington Convention

The Japanese authority has ratified the Geneva Convention only.


Sample International Driving Permit

Validity of the International Driving Permit
International driving permit is valid for one year from the date of issue. And the validity for driving a car in Japan is one year from the date of entry into Japan. The validity is confirmed by the immigration stamp in the passport showing the date of entry. You will no longer be able to use your International driving permit if you have stayed continuously in Japan for more than one year without leaving the country.
International driving permit is often used by short-term visitors.

It works fine for those who come in and out of Japan regularly and all you need to do is to re-apply for a new international driving permit in the originating country.
However for those who will be staying in Japan exceeding the one year grace period will have to apply for a domestic driver's license to be able to continue driving in Japan.



Countries where international driving permit is valid;


Signatories of the Geneva Convention
Asia The Philippines, India, Thailand, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, South Korea, Hong Kong and Macao.
Africa South Africa, Central Africa, Egype, Ghana, Algeria, Morocco, Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Namibia.
Europe Britain, Greece, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Russia, Serb, Montenegro, Spain, Finland, Portugal, Austria, Poland, Ireland, Hungary, Romaina, Iceland, Bulgaria, Malta, Albania, Luxembourg, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican, Kirgiz, The Republic of Georgia, Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Middle East Turkey, Israel, Syria, Cyprus, Jordan, Lebanon and United Arab Emirates
America The United States, Canada, Peru, Cuba, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Barbados, The Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Trinidad & Tobago, Venezuela and Jamaica.
Oceania New Zealand, Fiji, Austria and Papua New Guinea


Countries where international driving permit is valid under a bilateral convention
Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Belgium and Taiwan.

A person who holds a driver's license with an attached Japanese translation issued by Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Belgium, Taiwan is allowed to drive a car in Japan, provided that the person has a resident card in Japan. The validity for driving in Japan is one year from the date of entry into Japan.

Japanese translation of a driver's license
The Japanese translation of a driver's license can be issued by the Embassy and consulate office in Japan or the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF).



Foreign Licence Conversion
Japan has concluded agreements with a few countries to ease the process of converting a valid foreign driving license into a Japanese one. Among these countries are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

If you hold a valid driving license from one of these countries, you can get a Japanese license without taking a written or practical exam. All you need to do is go to the local license center with an official translation of your license, take an eye test and prove that, after obtaining your license, you have lived at least three months in the country where your license had been issued.

If you have a driving license from a country, which has not concluded an agreement with Japan yet, such as the United States, China or Brazil, you will have to take a written and practical exam in order to obtain a Japanese driving license.


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