Transferring your Drivers License

First of all we would like to thank one of our customers who put together this check list when they went and got their drivers license transferred recently.

If you are from one of the lucky countries where you can just transfer your drivers license rather than sit the test then some of the points below might help you.

As of Sept 2017 the below are countries that you can just transfer your license – these can change so make sure you check with JAF

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Taiwan, South Korea, or USA (only Maryland (from Jan 2016) or Washington (from Jan 2017)). 

STEP 1 – JAF & Paperwork

  • Go and get a copy of your Residence record from Local government office first – 住民票 Jyuuminhyo
  • Get licence translation from JAF (go in person, by post takes a while) –
  • Take tax form to license centre to help show Residence in Home country to prove held your licence for a while or history of where you lived, etc.  Other documents that can be useful, Old & New passport that shows your entry stamps, they can use this to calculate how long you were in your home country. Utility bills have also been know to be useful.


Samezu Drivers Licence Center: Nearest subway is Shinagawa Seaside, or bus/taxi from Shinagawa station is convenient –

  • Get there about 7.45
  • Go up to 3rd floor – run up the escalators to beat people who take the lift!
  • Wait in international license line – see photo
  • 1st basic check – give you 2 pieces of paper and number
  • Fill out questions and address / dob on 2nd form
  • When number called (10 mins) give all paperwork over
  • They take away and check plus copy it.
  • 1 hr and 10 mins later – fill out simple medical questions
  • FYI at this point the person who was 8th in the queue just got called to do step before – so getting there 8th in the line adds more than 1 hour to the process!
  • Go to first floor counter 2 pay Y4,250 cash
  • Room 3 eye test
  • Go back to original counter on 3rd floor
  • Hand form back in and then sit and wait again
  • Then go back to 3rd
  • Hand form back in
  • Follow instructions on machine to make a PIN code.  They didn’t ask me to do this, but you need it for the photo and to pick up your license at the end.
  • Wait 45 mins.
  • Get back rest of documents then go to 1st floor to take photo
  • Go to 2nd floor license issuance counter
  • Wait to be called for about 30 mins
  • Then check your card on the machine using the PIN code that you created.

NOTE: Times will vary this is just one customers experience