Foreign Licence Conversion for Japan
Foreign Licence Conversion
A person holding foreign driving license can apply to the Driver's License Center of the Prefecture to obtain a domestic driver's license. The process is called "Gaimen Kirikae" in Japanese.
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. Please read on for the details.
1. You must have been resident in the country of issue for at least three months after obtaining your foreign license. The passport should have dated entry or exit stamps so that it can be determined from the date stamps that you had stayed at least 3 months in the foreign country after the foreign driver's license had been issued to you. Therefore, if your passport is brand new, please bring along your old passport to show the dates. If your passport cannot help to determine the 3-month stay requirement, please bring other forms of document which can prove your 3-month stay in the foreign country after the license was issued.
The date stamps in your passport is also used to determine if you had stayed in the foreign country for more than 1 year after the license is issued to you. If the 1-year stay cannot be confirmed then a "beginner's license" will be issued to you.
2. Your foreign license must be valid in the country of issue at the time of your application for a Japanese license
3. All applicants will be required to take an aptitude test (a simple eye test), a written test (about 10 simple questions,
also available in English and Mandarin) and practical driving test (with explanation only in Japanese).
4. The aptitude test is required for all applicants but applicants possessing licenses from the following countries may be exempted from the written and practical tests.
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.
Documents to submit;
1. Your foreign driver's license
2. A copy of both sides of your foreign driver's license
3. Certified translation of your foreign driver's license. Only translations by the consular offices of the country where the license was issued or by Japan Automobile Federation (JAF) are accepted.
4. Passport (All passports, including old ones containing stamps indicating dates of departure and entry)
5. A copy of your passport (the pages showing your photo, the visa category, and its duration)
6. Your alien registration card and a copy of both sides of the card or a certificate of alien registration
7. One photograph, measuring 3cm by 2.4cm(black and white or color)
It should have been taken within 6 months and can be taken at the licensing office. If you are applying for 2 or more types of driver's licenses (for example, automatic car, manual car, motorcycle, truck etc), bring 1 photo for each type of license you are applying.
8. If you have current or expired Japanese license, please bring it with you to the licensing center.
Written test：2,400 yen ( for a regular vehicle license ), 3,300 yen ( for a motorcycle license )
Issuance of driver's license 1,750 yen
Test centers in Tokyo;
Samezu Driving Test Center
12-5 Higahsi Ooi 1-Chome, Shinagawa-ku.
The test center is about 10 minutes walk from the Samezu Station on the Keihin-Kyuko Line. Please be careful to take only local trains as express trains would not stop at this station.
The opening hours for accepting application: Mon to Fri 8:30 am to 11 am, 1pm to 3 pm. Please don't go between 11 am to 1 pm, because you simply have to wait although they are accepting other applications but not the application for converting license.
Fuchu Driving Test Center
3-1-1, Tama-cho, Choufu-shi, Tokyo
Open: 8:30-11:30, 13:00-15:00 (Mon.-Fri.)
Closed: Sat., Sun. & Holidays
Nearest Stn.: JR Chuo Line Musashi-Koganei station(North Exit.)
Take a Bus #6 or #7 to Shikenjoseimon-mae stop (1min on foot)
Japan Automobile Federation (JAF)
JAF provides a Japanese translation service for driver's licenses from abroad as well as 24-hour road services.
If you will be a member of JAF, you can be served for mechanical problems or traffic accidents occurring on public roads.
For foreign license in English, the translation takes about 20 minutes. The applicant can obtain the translation certificate on the same day. For other languages, the translations take various times from 2 days to one month.
The following documents and fees can be either submitted at JAF counter or mail by Genkin Kakitome (Registered Mail for Cash) for the translation service.
1. A photocopy of the foreign driver's license, front and back.
2. Translation fee of 3,000 Yen. If return postage is required for mailing the translation certificate, extra 290 yen is required.
JAF Office Locations:
Nissei Otsuka 3 Cho-me Bldg., 1F, 3-11-6 Otsuka, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 112-8638
Tel: 03-5976 9777
Masonic 39 MT Bldg., 1F, 2-4-5 Azabudai, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0041
Tel: 03-3578 1471
6-24-2-, Nagayama, Tama-shi, Tokyo 206-0025
Open hours: 9:00-17:00, Mon.-Fri. (excluding national holidays)
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