International driving license

A valid international driving license is required for drivers for driving in Japan. To drive in Japan, you must have either of the following licenses:

Driving with an international driving license

Drivers are required to present both their passport and an international driving license.

Drivers are required to present both their passport and an international driving license.

*When foreign nationals registered on Japan’s Basic Resident Register (or Alien Registration) System drive in Japan with an international driving license, the following two conditions must be satisfied:

  • 1) Their international driving license shall be valid for one year from the date of re-entry, after spending at least three consecutive months overseas (not necessarily in the country or region where the permit was issued).
  • *In case they have returned to Japan less than three months after leaving Japan (i.e., less than three consecutive months, not a total of three months), the date of their return shall not be considered as the date of re-entry (from which the validity of an international driving license and a foreign driving license are calculated).
  • 2) They shall have a valid international driving license, which expires one year from the date of issuance.

Both an international driving license issued by a signatory to the 1949 Geneva Convention (including two administrative regions) and a passport must be presented.

An international driving license is valid for one year from the date of issuance (the date of issuance to be confirmed), and the period of validity for driving a car in Japan is one year from the date of entry into Japan (the date of entry to be confirmed with the entry stamp in the passport). Those with an international driving permit issued under different conventions – the 1926 Paris Convention, the 1943 Washington Convention and the 1968 Vienna Convention – are not allowed to drive in Japan.

Asia The Philippines Africa Rwanda Europe Albania
India Senegal Luxembourg
Thailand Sierra Leone Monaco
Bangladesh Togo San Marino
Malaysia Tunisia Vatican
Singapore Uganda Kyrgyz Republic
Sri Lanka Zimbabwe The Republic of Georgia
Cambodia Namibia Czech Republic
Laos Burkina Faso Slovakia
South Korea Nigeria Americas The United States of America
Middle East Turkey Europe United Kingdom Canada
Israel Greece Peru
Syria Norway Cuba
Cyprus Denmark Ecuador
Jordan Sweden Argentina
Lebanon The Netherlands Chile
United Arab Emirates France Paraguay
Africa South Africa Italy Barbados
Central Africa Russia The Dominican Republic
Egypt Serbia Guatemala
Ghana Montenegro Haiti
Algeria Spain Trinidad and Tobago
Morocco Finland Venezuela
Botswana Portugal Jamaica
Democratic Republic of the Congo Austria Oceania New Zealand
Congo Belgium Fiji
Benin Poland Australia
Cote d'Ivoire Ireland Papua New Guinea
Lesotho Hungary Administrative regions Hong Kong
Madagascar Romania Macau
Malawi Iceland
Mali Bulgaria
Niger Malta

Types of vehicle that can be driven

Please check that your permit has stamp(s) in B,D box(es) according to the type(s) of vehicle that can be driven.
B: Passenger car (a maximum of 9 passengers)HV,P,W1~3,SUV,V,T1 class
C:Truck(allowable maximum load over 3.5t)T2-T8 class
D: Large passenger vehicle (10 passengers or more)W4, BUS2 class

* To drive a car in the W4 class, the license must have a stamp in the D box.

W4 class (for 10 passengers include a driver)

Types of vehicles that can be driven

If you have a domestic driving license of Switzerland, Germany, France, Taiwan, Belgium, Slovenia or Monaco, and its Japanese translation, you are allowed to drive in Japan for one year from the date of entry into Japan. Please take the following two documents and your passport with you to the office when you pick up the car.

A domestic driving license of Switzerland, Germany, France, Taiwan, Belgium, Slovenia or Monaco & A Japanese translation of the domestic driving license
A Japanese translation of the domestic driving license

The Japanese translation of the domestic driving license is issued by the embassy and consulate in Japan or the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF). For JAF, please click the link below.
A driving license issued in Taiwan must be accompanied by a translation by JAF or the East Asia Relations Commission.

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