Converting your license

To change your valid foreign license to a Japanese license, you must go through the following formalities and tests.

Requirements

1. Your foreign license must be valid.
2. The duration of your stay in the foreign country where your license was issued must have been three months or longer.

Items you need to take with you

1. Certified copies of the residence record.
2. Foreign license (official)
3. Certification of the date of acquisition of your foreign license and the term of validity (your foreign license will suffice if these are printed on it).
4. Your photograph taken within the past three months (W25 mm X H30 mm).
5. Passport
6. Certified translation of your foreign license (issued by an embassy or by the Japan Automobile Federation).
For inquires, contact the JAF (Tel: 03-6833-9100)
2-2-17, Shiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0014
(Translation fee ¥3,000)
7. Application fee ¥4,250

Confirmation Tests

The Public Safety Commission in the prefecture where you reside makes it a rule to confirm that there will be no problems if you drive in Japan. The following is the confirmation procedure:

1. Physical test: Eyesight (color recognition included) and hearing, etc.
2. Confirmation of knowledge:
  a) Questions are asked regarding your driving record outside Japan.
  b) Ten driving related questions are given (available in eight different languages). (You pass the test if seven out of the ten questions are answered correctly.)
3. Confirmation of skills: Driving skills are tested using an automatic or a manual transmission car.
  (1) Passing the Skill Test for an automatic transmission car does not enable you to drive a manual car.
To be able to drive both manual and automatic cars, you must pass the Manual Skill Test.
  (2) The Skill Test costs ¥3,100 each time.
  (3) The Skill Tests are given on a reservation basis. Therefore, you cannot take it on the day of application. The test will be given about two weeks after application.

Persons holding driver's licenses from the following countries are not required to take the confirmation test for driving skills.
1.Australia 2.Austria 3.Belgium 4.Canada 5.Czech 6.Denmark 7.Finland 8.France 9.Germany 10.Greece 11.Iceland 12.Ireland 13.Italy 14.Korea 15.Luxembourg 16.Monaco 17.Netherlands 18.New Zealand 19.Norway 20.Portugal 21.Slovenia 22.Spain 23.Sweden 24.Switzerland 25.U.K. 26.Taiwan

Guide to Driver's License Center (UNTEN MENKYO SHIKEN-JO)
You are advised to visit any of the following Driver's License Center prior to application to check on the language in which you will take the test, the items you must bring with you for the test and at what time you will be accepted for the test.

Practice for taking the confirmation tests for changing a foreign driver's license to a Japanese one.

You can practice for the confirmation tests at Koyama Driving School.

Fee
Entrance fee ... ¥21,000 (Inc.Tax ¥22,680)
Driving skills practice ... (¥5,000 (Inc.Tax ¥5,400) x 4 hours) ¥20,000 (Inc.Tax ¥21,600)
Total ... ¥41,000 (Inc.Tax ¥44,280)
In addition you will be required to have an ID card which costs ... ¥1,000 (Inc.Tax ¥1,080)
At the time of application you must pay for 4 hours of practice time. Additional hours are ¥5,000 (Inc.Tax ¥5,400) each.
You can practice, but a diploma will not be issued.
You are required to take the confirmation tests.