Japan – Conversion of Driving License

Each prefecture in Japan has different requirements for conversion of a driver’s license. For the most specific information, it is recommended to make a direct contact with the driving center of area one is living.

Case1: Converting directly to a Japanese driver’s license

This case includes license holders who are able to convert their foreign licenses directly to a Japanese driver’s license without a road test. For these holders, conversion is a short paperwork process that takes a couple of weeks and one to two visits to the License Center if your license was issued in one of the following countries;

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Holland, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Luxembourg, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Kingdom of Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United State of America (States of Hawaii, Maryland and Washington only), and Taiwan

Case2: Cannot convert directly to a Japanese driver’s license

The second case includes license holders who require both a written and a road or driving test.

Valid foreign license holders from countries not listed above who can prove a minimum of 3 months residency in the country that issued the license, after it was issued, may be allowed to convert their license only after paperwork, taking a short written test and passing a driving test on an enclosed course at the Testing Center in your living area.

Required documents:

  1. A valid foreign driver’s license
  2. Japanese translation of the license.

The translation by the embassy of your country in Japan, or Japan Automobile Federation (JAF) must be attached.

  1. Current and expired Japanese driver’s license(s), if any
  2. An official copy of your “jumin-hyo” (residence certificate) that you can obtain at your ward office
  3. Passport or other form of official ID
  4. A document to prove that the address where you are staying is the one you fill in the application form
  5. A document which proves that you had stayed in the country or region where you obtained the license for a total of three months or more since you obtained it

8. Applicant’s photograph for application form (3cm×2.4cm)