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Do you have a VALID International Driving License to drive in JAPAN?

As a rental car shop, we've always checked all the customers' license validity in accordance with Japan traffic laws. However, it frequently but not recently occurs that oversea customers bring invalid licenses and unfortunately have got to cancel their car bookings.

Like a passport is needed for traveling abroad, VALID license is required for driving a car. For Japan driving, it must be based on Japanese traffic law. PLEASE make sure that you have a valid international driving license before coming to Japan!




1)  The valid license must be under the Geneva Convention (September 19th, 1949)

      There are some types of international driving license, but the IDP under the Geneva Convention is the only IDP you could drive a car in Japan.

Some countries, like the Philippines and Norway, are signatory countries under the Geneva Convention (September 19th, 1949) and also the Vienna Convention (November 8th, 1968.) To drive a car in Japan, please apply and get the same format as the Geneva Convention's before you leave your country.

Furthermore, the IDP under the Paris Convention (1926), the Washington Convention (1943), nor Vienna Convention (1968) is not accepted in Japan.

POLICE website: http://www.keishicho.metro.tokyo.jp/multilingual/english/traffic_safety/drivers_licenses/geneva.html

Our website: http://www.toyotarentacar.net/english/guide/license/#menu01

2)  The IDP must be issued in a year

You could use your IDP only in a year from issue date. Please check in advance if yours is not expired yet. The statement is written on the back of the front page if your IDP is Hong Kong's, on the back of IDP if Singapore's and Australia's.

3)  No Photos or Copies

      Only the real IDP is accepted. IDP is qualified your driving, so please hold the real one every time you drive a car. Otherwise, you'd be threated or arrested by Police!

4)   License of Switzerland, Germany, France, Taiwan, Belgium, Estonia or Monaco

      Customers from these 7 countries are required to have their domestic license and the official Japanese translation. If you could not get the translation in your country, you could get it at JAF or your nation's consular agency in Japan.

JAF website: http://www.jaf.or.jp/inter/translation/index_e.htm

5)   In case you have a residence for Japan, please let us know in advance

      There is a regulation to drive with IDP or foreign license if the driver has a residence for Japan or more than 1 year term VISA for Japan.

Police website: http://www.keishicho.metro.tokyo.jp/multilingual/english/index.html

For a resident: http://www.keishicho.metro.tokyo.jp/multilingual/english/traffic_safety/drivers_licenses/index.files/koku1eng.pdf

6)   Driving Hiace GC requires an IDP which qualifies driving 10 people's car

      Please check the last page of your IDP. A stamp on the category "D" box is required for a HIACE driver. Also, the driver with a set of foreign licenses and the translation needs to have a license for driving 10 people's car as well. If yours is Taiwanese, 大客車 license is required.

Check the middle of this page: http://www.toyotarentacar.net/english/guide/license/


When you pick-up your car, we will check the validities of both of your passport and IDP (or a particular foreign license and the translation.) Please do not leave them at your hotel, but please hold them while driving.


If you have any inquiries or concerns about licenses, please do not hesitate to ask us. We are more than happy to support your trip!

VALID licenses





the Philippines VALID license

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the Philippines INVALID licenses



INVALID licenses

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INVALID license issued from USA3.pngINVALID license issued from USA .pngINVALID license issued from USA2.pngINVALID license issued from USA4.png

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