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Driving In Japan



Irony: "Japan practices driving on the real road but takes the actual driving test on a track."

General Information



As a resident of Japan you can only drive in Japan using an International Driving Permit (IDP) for one year, regardless of when your IDP actually expires, or however many new IDPs you get/renew or whatever, unless you leave Japan for a full three full months an IDP cannot be renewed.  In case you're wondering, the Japanese police closed this loophole in 2002.  This is a .pdf file written by the Japanese police in English/Japanese about this very thing.


If you are caught driving on an expired license or get into an accident, you are screwed!  In terms of an accident, you will be personally responsible for ALL damages and injuries of all parties involved because you were driving illegally.  On top of that, you will be subject to massive fines and depending on the severity of injuries, you may also spend time in jail, which automatically gets you fired from your job.  One final piece of advice for you 'good' drivers.  It really doesn't matter how defensive you drive, it is not uncommon to be hit even if your car is stopped.


Also, if you didn't have a driver's license prior to coming to Japan, IMO, don't bother trying to get one in Japan because the process to go through acquiring a Japanese license like every other Japanese person does is a headache that would leave most people crying on the side of the road...IMO.





On site info and helpful links:


Buying a Car in Japan: The Hints

Everything You Need to Know About Buying a Car

Japanese License Process at a Glance

Prefectural Licensing Centers  

Road Signs






If you have any additional links for owning cars or driving in Japan please feel free to submit them to us at:

admin (at) epedia (dot) onmicrosoft (dot) com




This page was last modified on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 02:21:34 PM