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Column / 2023.09.27

【Living in Japan】国際運転免許証(こくさい うんてん めんきょしょう)ーInternational Driver's License

There are two ways for people who have been in Japan for less than a year to drive. One of them is to get an international driver's license. To get a Japanese driver's license, you have to pass a test, but with these two methods you don't have to take a test. If you are only stay in Japan for a short time, why don't you try this method?

How to drive without having a Japanese driver's license

1. Get an international driver's license
2. Use your driver's license from your country

These two methods can only be used for one year after coming to Japan.
If you live in Japan for a long time, let's get a Japanese driver's license.
※Depending on when you acquired the card and the expiration date of your residence card, the period may be shorter than 1 year.
Click here for details:How long can you drive with an international driver's license?

1. Get an international driver's license
Only countries that are members of the Geneva Convention can issue it.
※You cannot issue it in Japan. Apply in your own country before coming to Japan.
List of member countries

《What you need to get an international driver's license》
 -Driving license from your country
 -Passport size photo (1 or 2)
 -Pay for application fee

2. Use your driver's license from your country
If you have a driver's license from your own country, you can drive in some countries only with translated letter of your driver's license.
※Translations must be translated by a designated institution.

《List of countries where you can drive only with translated letter》※From July 2023 until present
Swiss Confederation, Federal Republic of Germany, Republic of France, Kingdom of Belgium, Principality of Monaco, Taiwan

《Designated institution》
Where you can get a driver's license in your country
Your country's embassy or consulate in Japan
Recognized foreign corporate and organizations (Taiwan: Taiwan-Japan Relations Association, Germany: Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club e.V., etc.)
Recognized Japanese corporate and organizations (JAF, ZIPLUS Co., Ltd., etc.)


Q:How many years can you use an international driving license?
① 3 months
② One year
③ 3 years

  The answer is?★

② One year

An international driving license is valid for one year from the date of issue or the date of entry into Japan. If you live in Japan for more than a year, you should either switch your foreign driver's license or get a Japanese driver's license.

Column:Converting Driver's License
Column:How to get a driver's license

For non-Japanese living in Japan, let's get a driver's license!
"YOLO DRIVE" starts 🚙
✅ The website is available in English, Chinese, and Vietnamese
✅ You will be introduced to driving school that supports foreign languages!
✅ You will be supported by foreign language staff!

Click here for details ↓

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