News / 2020.12.17

A thorough guide to get a driving license - How to get your Japanese scooter driving license from scratch

Holding a driving license can be one of the tools for foreign residents to improve their lifestyle in Japan. On this article of YOLO NEWS we will share some information on how to get a driver’s license for small motorbikes (50cc displacement or less). This will be helpful for those who are considering getting a driver’s license.

■How you can get a scooter driving license the same way as Japanese people do

Those who hold a license issued in other countries must know they cannot use it in Japan. Driving in Japan, without first obtaining a license or switching your license to a valid one, is against the law. If you want to drive a scooter, be sure to get your license first.

In this article, we will explain how you can obtain a driving license for scooters in Japan.

※If you hold a valid driving license, you have some different options. Check this other YOLO NEWS.

The steps to get a scooter license in Japan are the following:

・A practical course: Study about how to drive a scooter
・A theoretical course: Study about traffic rules in Japan
・Exams: After the courses, take the final exam. Upon passing you get the license

《Where to get a scooter driving license in Japan》

You can take the test or attending a course at one of the following places:
・Driver’s license centers
・Driver's license examination centers

《Procedures to get a scooter driving license》

①Prepare the documents for the application
・A residence track where is reported your Nationality
・Your Residence card, or alternatively a Special Permanent Resident Certificate
・Your official stamp
・An ID photo ※You can take one at the examination center (3.0cm x 2.4cm)
・Writing utensils to use during the exam

②Practice Short-course
The driving license course takes around 3 hours and contains many of the following subjects. Upon completing the course, you will receive a certificate of completion. 
・Basic maneuvers
・Basic driving
・Practical driving
・Safety driving knowledge

③Written exam at the examination center 
1)Fill in the application at the examination center
2)Purchase the stamp at the counter and line-up at the reception (ask for the right stamp at the counter
3)Aptitude test (eyesight and hearing check included) ※Glasses or contact lenses are necessary for those with bad eyesight
4)Written exam ※Duration: 30min (46 questions + 2 risk prediction problems)
5)Announcemnet of results
6)Procedures for issuing the driving license

《Difficulty of the exam》

Average pass rate of the written exam is 50%.
There should be no problems for those who have a grasp of traffic and safety regulations. 
Scoring an overall score of 45/50 grants a pass. 

For those who do not understand or cannot speak Japanese, there are few centers (limited in numbers) with courses in other languages (mostly English) and where the exam itself can be taken in English.

《Fees》

Exam fee: 1.500yen
Scooter practical driving course fee: 4.500yen 
Issuing fee: 2.050yen
Total: 8.050yen