Coming To Japan And Need To Drive? Make Sure You Don't Break The Law

If you're newly arrived and driving in Japan, it`s important to have the correct kind of license.

First, make sure you have a driver’s license from your own country. Be sure it doesn't expire soon or that is hasn't already expired!

Next be sure to get an international drivers permit, preferably before departing your home country. Beware! There are many scam sites out there that propose to give you an international driver’s permit but it must be from an official institution in your home country. Check these links for getting a permit in the US, UK and Australia.

 

Now you're all set! Or are you?!

Do you plan on staying for a year or more? Are you going to be a resident/ have resident status? If you answered yes, you need to convert to a Japanese license.

The US embassy website warns that if you don't convert soon, you are subject to fines or arrest. You have about three months or 90 days after receiving your alien registration card to convert your license.

Now for some countries conversion is quite easy. People from these countries (including Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Canada) can do a simple conversion. It requires no more than some paper work and a day at the licensing office.

If you were unfortunate enough to not be born in the countries listed above, you have to go through a bit more of a process. You are required to take a short, ten-question true/false test and a driving test. Be sure to get started right away. Remember you only have 90 days to convert!

 

Check back later to hear about one teachers experience and tips for converting to a Japanese license.

 

Resources

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