For Expats that stay in Japan for a few years, at some stage you will need to extend you Japanese Drivers Licence. The process is easy enough but if you weren’t aware you could quite easily miss the renewal notice that is posted to you as it is all in Japanese.
So just in case please find and example of what the Tokyo renewal notices look like and some details about them.
On the form it will indicate where you need to go to renew your licence – you have 4 options but usually if you have a violation on your past drivers licence you will need to go to the Main Branch as you are required to sit through a Test/Safety Video. If its a minor violation usually its a 1 hour video on the road rules (all in Japanese so get comfortable)…
If you have been a great driver and haven’t had any violations over a period of a number of years you might get a Gold licence – if you have this you usually can go to the local police station to renew it.
Japanese Drivers Licences are usually renewed every 3 years so make sure you keep your eye out for this letter as if you get caught driving with out one there are some large fines and any insurance you have will be void.
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.