Can I drive in Japan if I have a foreign driver's license?

In Japan, foreigners who possess a valid driver's license issued by their home country or an international driving permit (IDP) are generally allowed to drive.

Mar 11, 2023 - 08:56
Mar 9, 2023 - 08:27
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Can I drive in Japan if I have a foreign driver's license?

However, it is important to note that the regulations and requirements for driving in Japan can vary depending on the type of license you hold.

If you are visiting Japan for a short period of time (less than 12 months), you can drive with your foreign driver's license or an IDP issued by your home country, as long as it is recognized by the Japanese government. However, it is recommended that you carry an official Japanese translation of your license or IDP with you while driving, as the police may ask to see it in the event of an accident or traffic violation.

If you are planning to stay in Japan for more than 12 months, you will need to obtain a Japanese driver's license. In this case, you may be required to take a driving test and/or complete a driver education course, depending on the country that issued your license.

It is also important to note that Japan has strict traffic laws, and penalties for traffic violations can be severe. It is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the rules of the road in Japan and exercise caution while driving to ensure your safety and the safety of others.

Instructions on how to get a driver's license in Japan

Getting a driver's license in Japan involves several steps, and the process can vary depending on your country of origin and the type of license you hold. Here are the general steps for obtaining a driver's license in Japan:

  1. Obtain a driving record from your home country: If you have a driver's license from your home country, you will need to obtain a driving record from the licensing authority in your home country. This record will be used to determine whether you are eligible for a Japanese driver's license.

  2. Take a written test: You will need to take a written test on the rules of the road in Japan, including traffic signs and signals. The test is available in several languages, including English, and you can take it at your local driver's license center.

  3. Take a driving test: After passing the written test, you will need to take a driving test to demonstrate your driving skills. The test includes both a practical driving test on public roads and a basic driving skills test conducted in a closed course.

  4. Complete a driver education course (if necessary): Depending on your country of origin and the type of license you hold, you may be required to complete a driver education course before taking the driving test. This course is designed to teach you the rules of the road in Japan and prepare you for the driving test.

  5. Submit your application: Once you have passed the written and driving tests (and completed the driver education course, if required), you can submit your application for a Japanese driver's license at your local driver's license center.

  6. Receive your license: If your application is approved, you will receive your Japanese driver's license. The type of license you receive will depend on your age and driving experience.

Note that the process of obtaining a driver's license in Japan can be lengthy and complex, and it is recommended that you seek assistance from a Japanese speaker or an experienced driving school to help guide you through the process.

Injavi 編集部 "InJavi" is a website that provides information for foreigners to enjoy life and visit in Japan more smoothly. This website is easy to use even for first-timers to Japan and those who are not very good at Japanese, and supports multiple languages. 「InJavi」は、外国人が日本の生活や観光をよりスムーズに楽しむための情報を提供するウェブサイトです。 初めて日本を訪れる方や日本語が苦手な方でも使いやすい、多言語対応サイトです。