International Driver's Licenses

Driving with international driving permit in Japan

Driving in Japan requires to hold valid international driving permit. Please check if you hold one of the followings.

Standard domestic driving license issued in Japan (for those who stay in Japan)

International driving permit (under Geneva Convention, Convention on International Road Traffic of 19 September 1949)

Foreign driving license (issued in Switzerland, Germany, France, Taiwan, Belgium, Monaco, Republic of Estonia)

Regarding international driving permit

When you drive a car in Japan with holding international driving permit.

*

You're required to show your passport and international driving permit together.

passport

+

International Driving Permit

PASSPORT International Driving Permit

International driving permit should be issued by the institute who holds right authority and the country which signed Geneva Convention.

*

You're unable to drive in domestic Japan with holding international driving permit issued by Prefectural Public Safety Committee.

*

The validity of international driving permit is one year after the issue.

International driving permit should be corresponded with how it's supposed to be decided by Geneva Convention in terms of size, color, shape and so on.

Limitation for those who are recorded in Basic Resident Registration System

If you're recorded in Basic Resident Registration System (Japanese or foreigners staying in Japan for medium to long period) and come back to Japan within 3 months after leaving Japan, you might be unable to drive in Japan even if you could meet the above requirements.

List of parties to the Geneva Conventions

Asia Philippines
India
Thailand
Bangladesh
Malaysia
Singapore
Sri Lanka
Cambodia
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Republic of Korea
Middle East Turkey
Israel
Syria
Cyprus
Jordan
Lebanon
United Arab Emirates
Europe U.K.
Greece
Norway
Denmark
Sweden
Netherlands
France
Italy
Russian Federation
Serbia
Montenegro
Kingdom of Spain
Finland
Portugal
Austria
Europe Belgium
Poland
Ireland
Hungary
Romania
Iceland
Bulgaria
Malta
Albania
Luxembourg
Monaco
San Marino
Vatican
Kyrgyz Republic
Georgia
Czech Republic
Slovak Republic
Republic of Slovenia
Africa South Africa
Central African Republic
Egypt
Ghana
Algeria
Morocco
Botswana
Democratic Republic of the congo
Republic of congo
Benin
Cote d'Ivoire
Lesotho
Madagascar
Malawi
Africa Mali
Niger
Rwanda
Senegal
Sierra Leone
Togo
Tunisia
Uganda
Zimbabwe
Namibia
Burkina Faso
Nigeria
America United States of America
Canada
Peru
Cuba
Ecuador
Argentine
Chile
Paraguay
Barbados
Dominican Republic
Guatemala
Haiti
Trinidad and Tobago
Venezuela
Jamaica
Pacific New Zealand
Fiji
Australia
Papua New Guinea
Special Administrative Region Hong Kong
Macao
Asia Philippines
India
Thailand
Bangladesh
Malaysia
Singapore
Sri Lanka
Cambodia
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Republic of Korea
Middle East Turkey
Israel
Syria
Cyprus
Jordan
Lebanon
United Arab Emirates
Europe U.K.
Greece
Norway
Denmark
Sweden
Netherlands
France
Italy
Russian Federation
Serbia
Montenegro
Kingdom of Spain
Finland
Portugal
Austria
Belgium
Poland
Ireland
Hungary
Romania
Iceland
Bulgaria
Malta
Albania
Luxembourg
Monaco
San Marino
Vatican
Kyrgyz Republic
Georgia
Czech Republic
Slovak Republic
Republic of Slovenia
Africa South Africa
Central African Republic
Egypt
Ghana
Algeria
Morocco
Botswana
Democratic Republic of the congo
Republic of congo
Benin
Cote d'Ivoire
Lesotho
Madagascar
Malawi
Mali
Niger
Rwanda
Senegal
Sierra Leone
Togo
Tunisia
Uganda
Zimbabwe
Namibia
Burkina Faso
Nigeria
America United States of America
Canada
Peru
Cuba
Ecuador
Argentine
Chile
Paraguay
Barbados
Dominican Republic
Guatemala
Haiti
Trinidad and Tobago
Venezuela
Jamaica
Pacific New Zealand
Fiji
Australia
Papua New Guinea
Special Administrative Region Hong Kong
Macao

Possible driving vehicle class

Please make sure if your international driving permit is chopped in the column either B or C or D (according to which car you rent) under category for possible driving vehicle.

B:

Standard vehicle (Vehicle with seating capacity of 9 or less)

C:

Large trucks (Gross Vehicle Weight is over 3.5ton)

D:

Large passenger car(Vehicle with seating capacity of 10 or more)

*

If you'd like to drive a car for over 10 passengers, your international driving permit is required to be chopped in D column.

Category for possible driving vehicle Category for possible driving vehicle

Regarding foreign driving license

If you hold the driving license issued in Switzerland, Germany, France, Taiwan, Belgium, Monaco, Republic of Estonia, you can drive a car in Japan by showing it with Japanese translation letter within one year after landing at Japan.
Please bring the two items as below and drivers' passport together to the departure outlet.

passport

+

International Driving Permit

Driving license issued in Switzerland, Germany, France, Taiwan, Belgium, Monaco, Republic of Estonia
Japanese Translation Letter

Issue for Japanese translation letter

Japanese translation letter of your driving license can be arranged by your consulate/embassy or Japan Automobile Federation (JAF) branch offices.
For Taiwanese, you're required to have Japanese translation letter issued by JAF or East Asia Relations Commission.