Transferring your Drivers License in Japan

As with most things when you first arrive in Japan transferring your driver’s license can be a hassle. Unfortunately, we can’t actually do it for you, but below you will find all the steps that you need to take in order to transfer your current license to a Japanese License. If you have any questions or problems please contact Mick Lay Motors, we are more than happy to help.

  1. You need to confirm that somewhere on your current license it states when it was issued if it doesn’t contact the licensing department in the country where your license was issued. Request for a signed letter stating when your license was first issued.
  2. Make sure you can prove that you have driven in the country the license was issued in for more than 3 months (you can just show them your passport for this, as they will use the date stamps in it). In other words, you need to prove that you were in the country of your original license for at least 90 days after the issue date of that license.
  3. Take your current license to JAF (Japan Automobile Federation) to get them to translate it (cost Yen 3,000) – If JAF is not busy it will take about 45 minutes.
  4. Depending where you live you will need to go to the driving test center and apply.

Generally if you live in the centre of Tokyo it will be:

Samezu Driving Test Center
12-5 Higashi Ooi 1-Chome,

The test center is about 10 minutes walk from the Samezu Station on the Keihin-Kyuko Line. Please be careful to take only local trains as express trains would not stop at this station.

The opening hours for accepting application: Mon to Fri 8:30 am to 11 am, 1pm to 3 pm. Please don’t go between 11 am to 1 pm, because you simply have to wait although they are accepting other applications but not the application for converting license.

Note: Depending what country your licenses were issued from you might need to sit written and practical tests.