Japan – Driving Test Requirements

Requirements for a Japanese driver’s license vary depending on the applicant’s country of origin. If the applicant currently possesses a valid driver’s license issued by one of the following countries, it is possible to obtain a Japanese license without taking the written and driving test:

Australia
Austria
Belgium
Canada
Czech Republic
Denmark
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Iceland
Ireland
Italy
Luxemburg
Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Portugal
South Korea
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Taiwan
United Kingdom

If their license is from a country that is not listed, such as the United States, China or Brazil, one needs to take a written and driving test. The written test is 10 simple yes and no questions and it’s available in different languages including English, Spanish, Chinese and Korean. If the written test is passed, the applicant will be given a date and time to take the road test. Please also note that this part of the process typically takes more than one attempt and sometimes several, even for experienced drivers.

If the applicant would like to take driving lessons before attempting to take the test, there are two schools offering driving lessons with English speaking instructors in Tokyo.

Koyama Driving School

  • Driving practice in driving school’s course.
  • 4 hours minimum
  • Approx. 45,000 JPY in total

Ogikubo Driving School

  • Driving practice at Fuchu license center’s actual test course (Saturdays only).
  • 90 minutes
  • Approx.  18,000 JPY in total (includes driving from the school and the Fuchu DL center, and course using fee at Fuchu)

*The instructors can speak English, but the receptionist likely do not speak English, so please have a Japanese speaker call to make the reservation.

*One will need to book the Fuchu DL center’s course after booking the lessons at the Ogikubo Driving School. So proper communication might be a challenge for a non-Japanese speaker.  We, of course, provide this help in our driver’s license conversion program, however, the Japanese speaking staff at the DL center will call the applicant after the appointment is made in order to verify their identity. (They will confirm their name, address, the date of appointment, etc.)