Jan 09, 2014
You can get an International Driving Permit (IDP) based on your Japanese driver’s license. The permit is valid for one year from the date of issue and must be used in conjunction with your Japanese License. The process of getting an IDP generally takes one hour, and requires a visit to a license center within the prefecture you live during business hours.
Please note that license centers may offer this service only during specific times, or on specific days. Addittionally, while the requirements should remain the same, procedures at each license center will vary, so please be aware that your specific location may be different from what is detailed here.
Find your local license center here.
You Will Need:
- Japanese Driver’s License
- Proof of overseas travel – passport, passport photocopy (ID page) , airline ticket, etc. (all digital copies must be printed on paper)
- One photo, about 5 x 4 cm (the photos from the machine at license center are fine)
- Inkan (this isn’t necessary for non-Japanese, but if you have one it is handy)
- 2,350 yen
At the License Center:
- Buy your application, you should ask for a “Kokugai Menkyo (国外免許)”.
- Fill out your application; there may be sample applications available to help you.
- Turn in your completed application, along with your license, passport, and photo at the correct window.
- They will take all of these and ask you to sit down; in about 15-20 minutes they will call your name at the window.
- Go back up and you will receive your IDP, license and passport. You will need to stamp the application form with your inkan to show that you have received it. If you do not have your inkan with you they will ask you to sign for it.
You can find additional information on IDPs and Japanese Driver’s Licenses through the following links
Using International Drivers Licenses in Japan
Converting your Foreign License to a Japanese Driver’s License