All drivers are required to have a valid driver's license. Valid one is as below:
1. International driving permit under the Convention of Road Traffic on Sep. 19, 1949
2. Authorized Japanese Translation for driver's license issued in: Switzerland, Germany, France, Taiwan, Belgium or Monaco
3. Japanese driver's license
4. SOFA License(Status of Force Agreement)
1.International driving permit:（Convention of Road Traffic on Sep. 19, 1949(Geneva Convention))
When driving with an international driving permit:
You will be required to present both passport from your home country and your international driving permit.
- *International driving permits are only valid for one year from the date of issue (please confirm the date of issue on your permit). Additionally, international driving permits are only valid for one year from the date of entry into japan (date of entry can be found in the immigration stamp in your passport).
- *However, persons on the basic resident register who leave Japan and subsequently re-enter the country within less than 3 months, will not have their date of entry (the start date for driving eligibility in Japan).
For whom who reside in Japan with international permit, please refer to website of National Police Agency. For details, see here.
- *International driving permits acquired from signatory countries to the Paris Convention (1926), Washington Convention (1943) or Vienna Convention (1968) are not accepted.
- *A stamp is required for D box is required to driver vehicles with more than 9seats (including the driver's seat).
(Applicable vehicle types: Class W-B or larger minivans, microbuses, etc.)
- *International driving permits issued in Japan are not permitted to drive within Japan.
Points to confirm for international driving permits
1. Issuing country
2. Relevant convention date (September 19, 1949)
*International driving permits based on other dates are not accepted to drive in Japan.
3. Date of issue
*Permits are valid for one year from the date issue.
4. Permission stamps for categories of vehicles permitted to drive
*For details on categories see below.
- Vehicles permitted to drive
- Permitted license Class
- Motor vehicles used for the transport of passengers and comprising, in addition to the driver's seat, at most eight seats, or those used for the transport of goods and having a permissible maximum weight not exceeding 3,500kg (7,700lb). Vehicles in this category may be coupled with a light trailer.
- Classes K, S, E, J, W (excluding W-B), G, V, D, T (T-H/T-S)
- Motor vehicles used for the transport of goods and of which the permissible maximum weight exceeds 3,500kg (7,700lb). Vehicles in this category maybe coupled with a light trailer.
- Classes T-C, R-D or bigger
(Large trucks and dry vans)
- Motor vehicles used for the transport of passengers and comprising, in addition to the driver's seat, more than eight seats. Vehicles in this category maybe coupled with a light trailer.
- Class W-B, W-E (10 passenger minivans) and microbuses
- B, C or D above with attachment
2.Authorized Japanese translation
If you have a driver's license issued in Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Taiwan or Monaco, you are required to present your original driver's license, the authorized Japanese translation and your passport.
Translations are valid for one (1) year from the date of entry into Japan. Please present your passport so we can confirm the date of entrance.
●Authorized Japanese translation of the driver's license should be issued by the respective country's embassy or consulate in Japan or by the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF).
● For Taiwanese licenses, a Japanese translation of the driver's license should be issued by the JAF or the Taiwan-Japan Relations Association.
3.Japanese driver's license
License categories and types of vehicles that are permitted are
- : Permitted
- : Not permitted to drive for certain vehicle models
- : Not Permitted
*1 Drivers who obtained ordinary license after Mar. 12, 2017.
*2 Drivers who obtained ordinary license between June. 2, 2007 and Mar. 11, 2017.
*3 Not permitted when vehicle maximum weight(weight of the vehicle and its maximum load) exceeds 7.5t.
*4 Not permitted when vehicle maximum weight(weight of the vehicle and its maximum load) exceeds 8.