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:

  • About international driving licenses
Driving with 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.
Signatories to the 1949 Geneva Convention
Asia The Philippines
India
Thailand
Bangladesh
Malaysia
Singapore
Sri Lanka
Cambodia
Laos
South Korea
Middle East Turkey
Israel
Syria
Cyprus
Jordan
Lebanon
United Arab Emirates
Africa South Africa
Central Africa
Egypt
Ghana
Algeria
Morocco
Botswana
Democratic Republic
of the Congo
Congo
Benin
Cote d'Ivoire
Lesotho
Madagascar
Malawi
Mali
Rwanda
Senegal
Sierra Leone
Togo
Tunisia
Uganda
Zimbabwe
Namibia
Burkina Faso
Nigeria
Europe United Kingdom
Greece
Norway
Denmark
Sweden
The Netherlands
France
Italy
Russia
Serbia
Montenegro
Spain
Finland
Portugal
Austria
Belgium
Poland
Ireland
Hungary
Romania
Iceland
Bulgaria
Malta
Albania
Luxembourg
Monaco
San Marino
Vatican
Kyrgyz Republic
The Republic
of Georgia
Czech Republic
Slovakia
Americas The United States of
America
Canada
Peru
Cuba
Ecuador
Argentina
Chile
Paraguay
Barbados
The Dominican
Republic
Guatemala
Haiti
Trinidad and
Tobago
Venezuela
Jamaica
Oceania New Zealand
Fiji
Australia
Papua New Guinea
Administrative
regions
Hong Kong
Macau
  • 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 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.
  • About foreign driving licenses
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 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.
http://www.jaf.or.jp/e/switch.htm